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Latest U. S.-Japan Trade Talks Yield Little Results

August 21, 1987|Associated Press

TOKYO — Talks between the United States and Japan this week resulted in few achievements likely to dampen protectionist sentiment in the U.S. Congress, trade officials say.

American officials traveled to Japan for negotiations on auto parts and American participation in a $7-billion project to build a new airport in Osaka Bay. U.S. negotiators said that in spite of some progress, they did not get all they were hoping for in either area.

In the next round of talks, the U.S.-Japan Trade Committee will meet Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 in Maui, Hawaii, to discuss the trade imbalance as well as American demands to be allowed to export more farm products to Japan.

When Congress reconvenes on Sept. 8, a major topic is likely to be an omnibus trade bill that would punish Japan and other countries that don't take concrete steps to reduce their trade surpluses with the United States.

In 1986, the United States posted a $58.6-billion trade deficit with Japan, according to U.S. figures. The U.S. monthly trade deficit in June climbed to $15.7 billion, an apparent record, according to U.S. figures announced Aug. 14.

A senior Foreign Ministry official recently pointed to a number of areas in which Japan has made concessions on trade.

The Japanese government in July introduced new procedures for buying supercomputers to answer foreign bidders' complaints that Japan is reserving the lucrative supercomputer market for local manufacturers.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry official argued that protectionist trade legislation would hurt both nations without improving the trade balance.

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