And farmers will be interested as well.
Anyone who has turned on a television or a computer in the past year has probably heard about US President Donald Trump's focus on trade deals with Europe, Mexico, China, and Japan among others. The US has imposed tariffs on foreign steel and car parts, but so far we've avoided a trade war with Mexico and reached a temporary agreement with Europe and Japan.
To bolster one of those deals, Reuters reports that the US is set to sit down with Japan to hammer out a trade deal by September of this year. Three industry sources say a deal, which would cover agricultural products and automobiles, would be negotiated by President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when they meet in New York.
If the deal goes through, it would give US farmers access to the Japanese market in exchange for lowering tariffs on vehicles built in Japan. Another source claimed Trump and his administration are also seeking to include US beef and pork products in the deal. Japanese automakers are waiting to hear how the negotiations play out, and a successful deal could help Trump gain favor with farmers in the upcoming 2020 election.
Trump has been on record saying Japan should buy more American while Japan has responded by saying the US should "build better cars." US consumers love SUVs and crossovers, most of which are simply too large for Japanese streets.
If a deal is not reached, Trump has threatened to impose 25% tariffs on imported Japanese vehicles on the grounds of national security. One anonymous source said, "We have a mutual understanding that we should find common ground so we can find a final settlement,” while another said the deal would need to cover "all items, not just auto and agriculture” in order to be successful. The US Trade Representative’s office made no official comment about the talks, but Japanese automakers and American farmers will be watching closely come September.