US, Japan move closer to limited trade deal

The United States and Japan have reached a tentative agreement that could give President Donald Trump a trade win for his farm constituency and could protect Japan against steep auto tariffs that the administration is threatening to impose on imported vehicles.

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe outlined the agreement in principle on agriculture, industrial tariffs and digital trade Sunday during the G-7 summit in France. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the agreement, if finalized, would open Japanese markets to an additional $7 billion in U.S. products.

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Abe said negotiators will continue to fine-tune the language. The two leaders said they hoped to sign the agreement in New York in late September when the U.N. General Assembly meets. There was no mention of whether Congress would have a role in approving the agreement.

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, welcomed the Trump-Abe announcement and said he looked forward to seeing details. Roberts said the proposed trade agreement is needed.

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