Japan and U.S. officials to hold working-level trade session in Washington next week


The Japanese and U.S. governments will hold a working-level session in Washington from Wednesday at the earliest to accelerate their trade talks, ahead of an anticipated bilateral summit in September, sources with knowledge of the matter have said.

The working-level session is expected to be held over three days, covering issues on agricultural and industrial goods, according to the sources.

Participating officials will identify sensitive issues and set them aside for minister-level talks.

Following the working-level session, economic revitalization minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are expected to hold a string of meetings from August.

At their meeting in mid-June, Motegi and Lighthizer agreed to produce results in the trade negotiations promptly after a House of Councilors’ election, set for Sunday.

The U.S. government is hurrying to reach a bilateral trade deal with Japan, as conditions for exporting farm goods to the country worsen following the entry into force late last year of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact between Japan and other countries.

The United States withdrew from the TPP framework in early 2017.

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