20:02 GMT07 April 2020
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    US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono during a meeting agreed to accelerate talks on bilateral trade issues and explore ways to strengthen free and fair trade, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said in a statement.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — "At the meeting, they [Lighthizer and Kono] discussed work plans to promote the trade agenda under the US-Japan Economic Dialogue, co-chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, and agreed on accelerating discussions to address specific bilateral trade issues as well as to explore approaches to strengthen free and fair trade and promote high trade and investment standards," the statement said after their meeting in Washington on Thursday.

    Lighthizer said both he and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross welcomed the acceleration of trade talks with Japan and hope the negotiations will fulfill the administration's objectives of advancing free and fair trade with Japan.

    "We look forward to constructive and vigorous engagement with Japan across many issues to improve trade outcomes for American workers," he added.

    Lighthizer and Kono also discussed US concerns over Japan's recent implementation of measures to increase tarrifs on exports of frozen US beef, the USTR said. They also discussed cooperation related to combating unfair trade practices by third countries, according to the statement.


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    trade, Japan, United States