Japan and US include e-commerce and digital services in new trade deal
Washington also canceled tariffs on aluminum and steel
/NOVOSTIVL/ Japan said Tuesday it has started talks with the United States over cutting tariffs on agricultural and industrial products, and that the two sides agreed to include digital trade as part of the new negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement.This article appeared in Kyodo.
During the first round of talks with economic revitalization minister Toshimitsu Motegi, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer raised the “very large” trade deficit with Japan, urging the country to address the trade imbalances between the world’s biggest and third-largest economies.
Speaking to reporters after the two-day meeting in Washington, Motegi said he and Lighthizer agreed to start talks on digital trade, an area including e-commerce and music distribution services, at an appropriate time.
In digital trade, tech giants such as Amazon and Google have been calling for the free flow of cross-border data transfers, and both sides are expected to discuss setting up rules to foster data-driven business.
Motegi said he told Lighthizer that Japan will not reduce tariffs on American farm products beyond levels the country has agreed in other trade pacts such as the revised TPP and Japan-EU FTA.