Japan, US set plans for talks on resolving tariffs dispute

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U.S. Trade Representative Katharine Tai and Japan’s trade minister have agreed to work to resolve a dispute over American tariffs on steel and aluminum

Tai and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Koichi Hagiuda met Wednesday for talks that followed a visit earlier in the week by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

It also comes as major economies double down on trying to curb excess output in both industries.

METI said in a statement that the two sides had confirmed plans for negotiations on resolving the tariffs issue and addressing global excess production capacity.

The two officials “also discussed the U.S.’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, addressing market-distorting measures,” and cooperation on preparing for ministerial level talks of the World Trade Organization, it said. Those talks are due to begin Nov. 30 in Geneva.

Trump imposed extra tariffs of 25% on imports of steel and 10% on imports of aluminum, citing a need to protect American industries. That move angered U.S. allies in Japan, South Korea and Europe.

In meetings with Tai and Raimondo, Japanese officials said they were emphatic about having the tariffs problem resolved.

The U.S. and EU recently resolved their dispute over the punitive tariffs, with the U.S. agreeing to increase imports from the bloc. The deal helped forestall the imposition of retaliatory EU tariffs on billions of dollars worth of imports of American products such as Harley Davidson motorcycles and Kentucky bourbon. Those duties had been due to take effect in December.