USTR Lighthizer, Japan Foreign Minister Kono Agree to Accelerate Bilateral Trade Engagement

August 16, 2017, Washington, DC – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today met with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono for wide-ranging discussions on strengthening and advancing bilateral trade and economic relations.
At the meeting, they discussed work plans to promote the trade agenda under the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue, co-chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, and agreed on accelerating discussions to address specific bilateral trade issues as well as to explore approaches to strengthen free and fair trade and promote high trade and investment standards.
“Secretary Ross and I welcome the acceleration of discussions on trade with Japan that fulfills the Administration’s objectives of advancing free and fair trade with one of our largest trading partners,” said Ambassador Lighthizer.  “We look forward to constructive and vigorous engagement with Japan across many issues to improve trade outcomes for American workers.”
Ambassador Lighthizer and Foreign Minister Kono also discussed U.S. concerns related to Japan’s recent imposition of a safeguard measure that significantly increases tariffs on exports of frozen U.S. beef.  Additionally, they covered topics of common concern and cooperation related to combatting unfair trade practices by third countries, which is another priority work area on trade under the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue.
Both Ministers expressed commitment to an ongoing dialogue to ensure that outcomes on trade are sufficiently advancing and fulfilling the economic potential of the two countries’ strong alliance.