Economic revitalization minister Toshimitsu Motegi denied again Tuesday the possibility of an early farm tariff deal with the United States as part of bilateral trade negotiations.
“There will be no partial agreement. It will be a package agreement,” Motegi told a news conference, rejecting U.S. calls for a separate deal to lower or eliminate Japanese tariffs on agricultural imports.
“We will continue our negotiations for mutual benefit while keeping Japan’s position,” he said, showing Japan’s resolve to strike a package deal also covering industrial tariff issues.
U.S. exports of agricultural products to Japan has been negatively affected by the recent enforcement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership regional free trade pact and Japan’s economic partnership agreement with the European Union.
At a Senate hearing June 18, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer expressed a wish to reach an agreement with Japan at an early point, especially on agricultural tariffs.