White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday that the U.S. could reach a trade deal with Japan by the end of this month, far exceeding all prior expectations.
Kudlow made the comment to reporters at the White House and declined to give any further details, according to Reuters.
The U.S. and Japan have been in talks since September, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Trump issued a joint statement saying they would engage in trade talks.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met earlier this month in Washington, D.C., with Japan’s Economic Revitalization Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, and they released a joint statement that they would have further “substantive” talks in the future. The statement did not set a date for those talks.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters last week that U.S. officials may pursue a narrow deal with Japan involving agriculture “that could then be fleshed out over a longer period” into a more comprehensive deal.
There was little other indication of progress in the negotiations. U.S. officials have been consumed with wrapping up trade talks with China and ensuring the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement gets approved by Congress.
Japan has been concerned about the possibility that the U.S. will place tariffs on autos and auto parts imports, a move that Trump has said is dependent on how upcoming trade talks with the European Union play out.
Source: Washington Examiner