| 4:06 PM EST

U.S.-Japan Trade Talks Off to a Shaky Start

Working level talks about avoiding hefty U.S. tariffs on cars from Japan began with the two sides far apart, The Nikkei reports.
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Working level talks about avoiding hefty U.S. tariffs on cars from Japan began with the two sides far apart, The Nikkei reports.

President Donald Trump is threatening 25% taxes on vehicles imported from Japan if it doesn’t get a deal it likes. He and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed last September that they would refrain from further tariffs pending the outcome of trade talks.

Japan wants the U.S. to lift its current tariffs of 2.5% on passenger cars, 25% on light-duty trucks and 2.4% on large motorcycles. The U.S. had agreed to those terms in 2916 as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty. But Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement upon taking office in 2017.

Now the White House is offering to immediately drop tariffs on most imported auto parts from Japan—but retain current duties on cars for 25 years—in return for relaxing Japanese taxes on imported agricultural products, The Nikkei says.

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