Arrangements are being made for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to meet with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Tokyo this week, government sources said.
Japan and the U.S. are to launch a bilateral economic dialogue on Tuesday in Tokyo.
Seen as a trade hawk, Ross has expressed his intention to visit Japan but is not expected to join the economic dialogue, which will be headed by Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, the sources said Friday. They said he might meet with Abe on Tuesday.
With the U.S. out of the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement under President Donald Trump, Ross has said bilateral trade agreements are high priorities.
Trump is eager to address America’s trade deficits, and concern has grown in Tokyo that he will press Japan to boost imports of U.S. autos and agricultural products.
When Abe met with Trump in February, they decided to launch the high-level dialogue to discuss topics from macroeconomic policy and trade to cooperation on infrastructure and energy.
Currency policy is not expected to be on the agenda.
Aso, who doubles as finance minister, is expected to meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers Thursday in Washington, and again in Los Angeles when he visits the United States in early May, the sources said.
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