Trump: US, Japan agree on 1st stage of new trade agreement

The deal does not address autos, a key sticking point during months of contentious negotiations.

By Foster Klug / Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS — The U.S. and Japan on Wednesday signed a limited trade deal that will eliminate tariffs and expand market access on farm, industrial and digital products. But the deal does not address autos, a key sticking point during months of contentious negotiations, and President Donald Trump indicated the two countries were still working on a broader agreement.

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed the deal on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Trump called it the “first stage of a phenomenal new trade agreement” and described it as “outlining the significant steps we’re taking toward a fair and reciprocal trade agreement.”

“This is a big chunk, but in the fairly near future we’re going to be having a lot more comprehensive deals signed with Japan,” Trump said.

Abe said the agreement is good for both countries.

“We have successfully covered a wide range of areas, including not only the industrial goods, but also the agricultural products and also the digital trade between the two sides,” Abe said.

Trump has been seeking a bilateral agreement with Japan, the world’s third largest economy, since pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal after he took office. Washington would like to reduce a chronic trade imbalance that totaled $67.6 billion in 2018, according to U.S. figures

The two sides reached a basic agreement in late August, but a major point of contention has been autos.

Japan is worried that Trump might slap new tariffs on its automobiles, which make up a significant amount of its exports to the U.S. Japan also has pushed to eliminate the current 2.5% auto and auto parts tariff.

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he expects that Japan will pass the preliminary deal in October or November, with tariffs reductions on U.S. goods kicking in at the beginning of the year.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

State asking Boeing what will keep 787 production in Everett

Closing that production line could cost thousands of local jobs.

Everett to consider allowing three more pot shops in city

After months of economic, planning and public safety review, the city council could vote next month.

Boeing year-end goal for 737 max return gets boost in Europe

The company agreed to install a synthetic sensor on the next version of the plane — the 737 Max 10.

Economic Alliance and Lynnwood offer new business grants

The grants are derived from the federal Coronavirus Assistance, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Paine Field gets $5M grant to remedy a CARES Act oversight

Shortchanged earlier, the Snohomish County airport is the recipient of a new federal grant.

Amazon’s buying spree of used planes goes against green pledge

Airlines are being spurred to hasten the retirement of their oldest, fuel-guzzling aircraft.

An update: We’re proud and humbled by our readers’ support

The Daily Herald investigative fund has grown, and now we’re working to expand environmental coverage.

Commentary: The 737 Max debacle won’t be the end of Boeing

The plane may actually be the bright spot in Boeing’s airliners business.

Panel blasts Boeing, FAA for ‘horrific culmination’ of failures

Investigators found that the company had a financial incentive to avoid more pilot training.

Marysville offers another round of CARES Act grants

Funds are available for those who need help paying for housing or business expenses amid COVID-19.

Port again wins millions in grant money for mill site revamp

The Port of Everett successfully reapplied for federal funding after losing $15.5 million last year.

‘Better with Boeing’ campaign aims to keep 787 assembly here

A new marketing effort hopes to persuade the company to keep Dreamliner work in Everett.