TOKYO – The government of Japan said on Friday it was confident that the United States will not put a cap on imports of Japanese automobiles amid frictions between the two countries during their negotiations to finalize a trade agreement.
Economic Revitalization Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, during an appearance before the media where he recalled a phone conversion on the matter with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, said that the latter assured him that the US will not impose a measure to include a limit on the number of Japanese exports.
Motegi added that Japan has constantly told Washington that it is against the measure that would harm free and fair trade.
Since the beginning of the negotiations between Tokyo and Washington – with the aim of signing a trade agreement – President Donald Trump has complained numerous times about the high trade deficit the US runs with Japan and the number of automobile imports from Japan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe showed his discontent on the US announcement of tariffs on Japanese automobiles and said that Tokyo will not impose them on US car imports.
Washington wants automotive trade flow between the two countries to be designed to increase production and employment in the American industry and, according to local media, it plans to delay the imposition of tariffs on Japanese imports in exchange for putting a cap on its vehicle imports.
Abe and Trump met during a summit on April 26 in Washington, and are set to meet again on May 25 in Japan, during Trump’s four-day visit to the country.