> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

Japan and the United States are likely to hold their first round of trade talks in Washington on April 15-16, a Japanese government source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Automotive News reported that Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters on Tuesday he would travel to the United States as early as this month to start negotiations with his counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

President Donald Trump has made clear he is unhappy with Japan’s $69 billion trade surplus with the United States — nearly two-thirds of it from auto exports — and wants a two-way agreement to address it.

Trade frictions between Tokyo and Washington have been present since Trump took office in 2017 with a pledge to renegotiate trade deals he considers unfair to U.S. companies and workers.

The Trump administration is also engaged in ongoing trade talks with both the European Union and China as part of the president’s “America First” agenda.

Japanese government officials are increasingly worried that Trump will demand a reduction in the number of Japanese auto imports to lower the trade deficit.

For the full story click here.