Keys for trade deal: Rice and cars

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Japanese Pm Shinzo Abe can get the royal treatment this week in his U.S. visit: an arrival ceremony around the South Lawn; an Oval Office meeting and press conference with The president; conditions Department lunch with V . p . Joe Biden; and Secretary of State John Kerry and, last of all, scenario dinner with nearly 300 guests.

But behind the curtain, White House officials are in work feverishly to unsnag a trade contend with Japan and 10 other Asia-Pacific countries that you will find the best such agreement in the past. Both major hold-ups: rice and cars.

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Washington wants Japan to make the cap around the level of rice the U.S. are offering to you towards the country without tariffs, that may top 778 percent. Tokyo wants the U.S., long protective of auto industry, to decrease tariffs on cars, trucks and auto parts.

While Obama and Abe will discuss the agreement, they may not be anticipated to reach a breakthrough within the outstanding issues; which is the job of Obama’s top trade official, Michael Froman, along with his Japanese counterpart, Akira Amari. But a Japanese official nearby the negotiations told POLITICO the talks have progressed far enough how the two countries will likely clinch an arrangement in the next few weeks, taking out the biggest hurdle to inking the broader pact, which, sequentially, can happen by late May.

The modern that each side will endeavour in the end their talks will be the other Trans-Pacific Partnership ministers meeting, okazaki, japan embassy source said. Top trade officials could conclude work on the huge Asia-Pacific trade agreement, that would cover an estimated 40 percent of global gross domestic product, at the conclusion of in the future in Singapore.

However the pact is riding largely on perhaps the U.S. and Japan can resolve their differences over agricultural and automobile import tariffs, in which the two nations had hoped in recent months will be accomplished the moment Abe came to Washington. As you move the two leaders talk, U.S. and Japanese trade officials also are meeting now inside the nation’s capital to try to hammer out details like what amount U.S. rice Japan will to accept and a mechanism that could prevent a blast at the of Japanese autos into your U.S.

Rice and cars was really a sticking reason U.S-Japanese trade relations: Japan may be very protective of their home-grown rice industry, and that is ingrained during the country’s culture, even though the U.S. doesn’t want Toyota and Honda to undercut the enduring Ford and Chevy truck or van industry.

Obama said Monday that either side were getting better a package, but he did not expect anyone to be announced while Abe is set in town.

“Negotiations are tough for sides because he’s got his personal politics and interests,” Obama said in a interview together with the Wall Street Journal. “I pricier that we will complete all negotiations,” but “I will state that the engagement has gotten the parties much closer together.”

Obama again pressed true for his trade agenda facing stiff opposition from fellow Democrats in Congress, warning that China will write the guidelines of trade the vicinity if ever the TPP talks fail.

“We might be ignore – American businesses and American agriculture. That should mean a loss of revenue of new jobs,” he told the newspaper.

An arrangement forwards and backwards countries might be hastened through the House and Senate markups this morning of so-called fast-track trade legislation that could expedite Congress’ approval with the TPP and yet another huge pact Washington is negotiating using the Western european. The trade promotion authority bill will allow unamendable deals to be provided for lawmakers on an up-or-down vote, giving negotiating partners like Japan assurances they can placed their best offers for another person. Within the last weeks, Abe’s visit was described as potential handshake moment inside the trade talks.

“The fact they couldn’t bring this together for your prime minister’s visit, I think it’s actually a missed opportunity,” Mireya Solis, senior fellow and Japan expert at the Brookings Institution, said, noting how the before a Japanese leader visited Washington was nine years in the past. “I was really hoping they’re able to at least announce they can be not far from reaching a great deal,” she added.

Whatever progress is manufactured on trade today, it can be overshadowed by security developments. Japan unveiled new defense cooperation guidelines soon that would give Tokyo a greater pay regional military affairs and deepen its strategic ties with the U.S.

Both issues could come about when Abe addresses some pot session of Congress and foretells business CEOs along at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

“I think the expectation on our part is good for the top minister to really produce the case why our relationship is so essential in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Rep. Charles Boustany, a co-chair within the Japan Caucus along with an outspoken supporter of your Asia-Pacific trade deal.

The place Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees’ approval of fast-track legislation a couple weeks ago was crucial to showing other nations the U.S. is putting its full weight behind moving the trade agenda forward, the Louisiana Republican said.

Boustany said he hoped the visit would give Abe the ability to elevate the TPP to “a place that hopefully gives him originates from to help make the variety of decisions he should make.”

Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party faces fierce pressure through the country’s powerful agriculture lobby to prevent seven people in foreign commodities from destroying the livelihood of smaller-scale Japanese farmers, especially those that raise sensitive products, including rice, dairy, beef, pork and wheat.

Now, the agricultural talks are focused mainly on Japan’s rice market, that your White House trying to pry open by lowering import tariffs. Japanese officials will be looking at giving the U.S. more access by using a quota that couldn’t survive susceptible to duties.

The U.S. dairy market is also pushing for additional access than Tokyo has long been happy to provide.

“The Administration creates significant progress in dairy, but what Japan is performing at this point just isn’t enough,” said Jaime Castaneda, senior second in command for strategic initiatives and trade policy for the National Milk Producers Federation.

“Our industry shall be keeping an end watch on any growth limitation on any dairy product.”

The U.S. is pushing Tokyo to pay policies and regulations that U.S. automakers say store them from selling cars in Japan.

Meanwhile, Japan has long been pushing to the immediate excretion of a couple.5 % tariff on auto parts plus a reasonable phase-out period for duties on car and truck imports.

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