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U.S., Japan, EU to Meet on China Ahead of Trade Deal Signing
USAgNet - 01/14/2020

Top trade officials from the United States, Japan and the European Union will huddle in Washington on Tuesday to address non-market-oriented trade policies and subsidies by China, a day before Washington and Beijing finalise a preliminary trade deal.

According to Reuters, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met Monday with his Japanese counterpart, Hiroshi Kajiyama, and will meet for bilateral talks with EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan on Thursday, a USTR spokesman said.

The meetings bookend Wednesday's signing of a Phase I trade agreement between the United States and China that is aimed at defusing an 18-month war of tit-for-tat tariffs that have roiled financial markets and dragged down global growth.

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation think-tank on Monday urged all three parties to abandon their recent bilateral, non-World Trade Organization measures against each other and focus instead on building a concerted response to what it described as China's dangerous mercantilist practices.

Top economists and experts say the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal with China marks a positive step forward, but leaves many significant challenges to be resolved, Reuters reports.

Key issues at the heart of the bilateral dispute, including China's subsidies for state-owned firms, digital trade and cybersecurity, must still be addressed, but it is not clear if the phase 2 talks will make any headway before the 2020 U.S. presidential election in November.

The EU and Japan share many of the United States' concerns about those issues and China's behaviour in global markets, but Tokyo and Brussels have been put on the defensive by tariffs threatened and imposed by President Donald Trump.

Japan reached its own interim trade deal with the United States in September.

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