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Ross: Japan far more protectionist

Jiji Press WASHINGTON (Jiji Press) — Japan is “far more” tilted toward protectionism than the United States while calling for promoting free trade, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said Monday.

Japan and other Asian countries “routinely espouse free trade rhetoric, but actually are far more protectionist” than the United States, Ross said in a speech at an annual conference of the U.S.-Japan Council.

Ross claimed that Japan imposes high tariffs on beef imports and maintains nontariff trade barriers for vehicles.

Due to difficulty in establishing sales networks, Ford Motor Co. left the Japanese automobile market after trying for decades to expand its business there, he said.

Noting that the automotive sector accounts for a large part of the U.S. trade deficit, Ross said, “Changing the rules of the game in automotive is very, very important” to reduce the deficit.

Ross also said the U.S. withdrawal from the TPP has been widely and incorrectly regarded as a withdrawal from Asia as a region.Speech

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