President Donald Trump said his administration has reached an initial trade accord with Japan over tariffs and that he intends to enter into the agreement in coming weeks.
In a notice to Congress on Monday, Trump also said the U.S. will be entering an “executive agreement” with Japan over digital trade. There was no mention by Trump if he’ll end his threat to slap tariffs on Japanese auto imports as part of the trade deal.
“My administration looks forward to continued collaboration with the Congress on further negotiations with Japan to achieve a comprehensive trade agreement that results in more fair and reciprocal trade between the United States and Japan,” Trump said in the statement released by the White House via email.
After meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G-7 summit in France last month, Trump announced that the two countries had struck a trade deal “in principle.” The leaders said they hoped to sign the pact on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said the limited trade deal will cover agriculture, industrial tariffs and digital trade. The USTR said on Monday it had no further comment and Trump provided no details about what was in the initial deal.
Under an earlier proposal, Japan would cut tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, including beef, pork, dairy products, wine and ethanol. The U.S. would cut levies on some Japanese industrial products, but not on cars. Japanese media has reported that the sides had agreed to lower tariffs on U.S. beef and pork to levels offered to members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Abe agreed to direct talks in September 2018 after Trump hit Japan’s steel and aluminum exports with tariffs and threatened to do the same on all imported cars, including those made in Japan.
Trump earlier this year delayed a decision until November over whether to impose new levies of as high as 25% on imported vehicles over national security grounds to allow more time for talks with Japan and the European Union.