0411 GMT January 27, 2020
Japan and the United States have agreed to target a broad deal on bilateral trade by September, seeking to bridge differences of opinion over tariffs on beef and the automobile sector, the Nikkei business daily reported earlier this month.
Trump had requested that Japan buy specific products such as soybeans and wheat, Kyodo reported, adding that the request was separate from the framework of current trade talks between Washington and Tokyo, Reuters reported.
Kyodo said the Japanese government would consider its response and one proposal floated was to purchase the farm products as food support for African countries.
The purchase would be worth several hundred million dollars including transport costs, Kyodo said.
China gets tougher on Trump
According to AP, facing another US tariff hike, Chinese President Xi Jinping is getting tougher with Washington instead of backing down.
Beijing fired what economists called a “warning shot” at Washington by letting its currency weaken in response to Trump’s latest threat of more punitive import duties on Sept. 1. Chinese buyers canceled multibillion-dollar purchases of US soybeans. Regulators are threatening to place American companies on an “unreliable entities” list that might face curbs on their operations.
Both sides have incentives to settle a trade war that is battering exporters on either side of the Pacific and threatening to tip the global economy into recession. But Xi’s government is lashing out and might be, in a revival of traditional Chinese strategy, settling in for prolonged wrangling in response to what it deems American bullying and attempts to handicap China’s economic development.
Negotiators are to meet in September in Washington, but China’s political calendar makes progress unlikely. The ruling Communist Party is preparing to celebrate its 70th anniversary in power on Oct. 1 — a nationalism-drenched milestone that puts pressure on Xi, the party leader, to look tough.