Tokyo and Washington concluded preparatory negotiations Friday over Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, signing a joint statement that allows the U.S. to maintain tariffs on Japanese autos for the time being.

Currently, the United States imposes a 25 percent levy on imported trucks from Japan and a 2.5 percent charge on cars. The two sides agreed that the tariffs will be maintained for the longest period of time permissible under the TPP framework, and this condition should be effectively better than that allowed under the free-trade agreement between the United States and South Korea, according to the joint statement.

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