US says Japan has more work to do to join trade pact talks
WASHINGTON - The United States on Friday cautiously welcomed Japan’s interest in joining negotiations on a US-led Pacific free trade pact, emphasising that Tokyo must demonstrate its willingness to tackle longstanding trade barriers to US goods and services.
“Since early last year, the United States has been engaged with Japan in bilateral TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) consultations on issues of concern with respect to the automotive and insurance sectors and other non-tariff measures,”acting U.S Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis said in a statement.
“While we continue to make progress in these consultations, important work remains to be done,” Mr Marantis said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced earlier on Friday that Japan will formally seek to join talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed free trade agreement between the United States and ten other countries in the Asia-Pacific.