While major elections are likely to consume Tokyo and Washington in 2000, trade disputes are simmering beneath the relatively calm surface of Japan-U.S. economic relations.

The anticipated launch of a new round of World Trade Organization-led trade liberalization negotiations suffered a setback in Seattle at the beginning of December with the two nations embroiled in arguments over antidumping and agriculture. Against this backdrop and amid growing political and business “shortsightedness,” as well as the faster pace of change through information and technology, Robert Grondine, new president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, has pledged to do his best to steer the ACCJ toward strengthening bridges between the world’s two largest economies.

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