• Kyodo, Jiji


U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will visit Japan, Singapore and Malaysia from Nov. 15 to reaffirm U.S. commitment and strengthen economic ties with allies and key partners, the government said Sunday.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai is also planning to visit Asia around the same time. According to her office, Tai will arrive in Tokyo on Nov. 15 as part of a trip that will also take her to South Korea and India.

The two are expected to discuss with Japanese officials a possible review of the United States' additional tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Japan, introduced by the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

During Raimondo's first official visit to Asia, she will meet with government leaders and private-sector partners to discuss key areas such as supply-chain resilience, digital economy and technology, common standards, and supporting regional infrastructure projects, according to the Commerce Department.

The department also said in a press release that the trip comes on the heels of U.S. President Joe Biden's announcement on developing what he calls "an economic framework that will define our shared objectives with partners in the region."

With China in mind, Biden announced after the end of the East Asia Summit last month his intention to consider building a new economic framework in the Indo-Pacific region.

The United States is urgently working to repair relations with its allies, which soured under the Trump administration, as it hopes to form a coalition against China in trade policies.

In late October, the United States and the European Union agreed to end their trade disputes, including those on steel and aluminum.

A focal point of Raimondo's trip to Japan will be whether there will be progress in the United States' moves regarding the extra tariffs on Japanese steel and aluminum. On Thursday, Raimondo said, "We do want to work with our allies in Japan to resolve" the tariff issue.

Raimondo will visit Tokyo on Nov. 15, make a two-day trip to Singapore from Nov. 16 and travel to Kuala Lumpur on Nov. 18.

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