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Commerce chief: U.S. eager for bilateral trade agreement

The Yomiuri Shimbun

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, left, and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko shake hands before their talks in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday that his country is eager to conclude a bilateral trade agreement with Japan.

“We are certainly eager to increase our trade relationships with Japan and to do so in the form of an agreement,” Ross told reporters following a meeting with Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko in Tokyo.

“We had quite specific, candid and practical discussions,” Seko separately told reporters after the meeting.

The two discussed the U.S. chronic trade deficit with Japan and the financial difficulties of Japanese electronics and machinery maker Toshiba Corp., according to sources familiar with their talks.

The discussions also covered trade in Asia following the U.S. exit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, the development of human resources for cybersecurity, and infrastructure investment, the sources said.

The Seko-Ross meeting took place ahead of the first session of a new Japan-U.S. economic dialogue between Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Tokyo later in the day.

Seko and Ross agreed to next meet in Washington in mid-June or later.

Ross, a billionaire investor who is familiar with Japanese affairs, oversees the trade policy of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.Speech

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