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Ex-trade minister Amari says Japan, U.S. should create fair, transparent trade rules

JIJI

Japan and the United States should create fair and transparent rules for global trade and investment under a new economic dialogue between the two countries, former trade minister Akira Amari said in an interview.

The two countries should map out a trade and investment vision that will be promoted globally, said Amari, who was in charge of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks.

“It’s important to introduce fair and predictable rules in the Asia-Pacific region, which is leading the global economy,” he said.

“Rules jointly drawn up by Japan and the United States should be reflected in the United States’ possible bilateral trade talks with China and others,” Amari stressed.

The new dialogue “shouldn’t be narrowed to discussions on how to manage bilateral trade surpluses and deficits,” he said.

The two countries are scheduled to hold the first session of the new dialogue in Tokyo on Tuesday, a product of an agreement between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump in February.

Amari said the United States is almost certain to bring up the possibility of starting bilateral trade talks. But “Japan has no need to run,” he said.

Instead of focusing on possible U.S. demands over agricultural and auto trade, Japan should rather demand that the United States open its auto market further to foreign competition, Amari said.