U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that he has reached an initial trade agreement with Japan.
In a letter to Congress, Trump said that the U.S. aims to achieve a comprehensive trade agreement to bring a more fair and reciprocal trade through tariff reduction.
In a previous deal reached in August between Washington and Tokyo, Trump and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe agreed in "principle" on various sectors including agriculture, industry and e-commerce. Automobiles were excluded.
As for the this agreement, although the details have not been revealed, reference on auto tariffs are omitted as well.
Tariffs on automobiles are a critical issue to both countries and has been source of delay in their trade talks.
With the U.S. struggling with a major trade deficit in automobiles and components, it has been threatening to impose 25-percent tariffs on those goods imported from the EU and Japan.
This, in turn, made it difficult for Japan to come to an agreement with the US.
To reach a compromise, Japan made concessions in August like agreeing to buy excess U.S. corn.
The U.S., meanwhile, centers its interests largely on agriculture, in order to bring some relief to U.S. farmers who are already struggling from the ongoing U.S.-China trade spat.
With Monday's progress in bilateral trade talks, attention is now on whether the two will sign a final deal when they meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month.
Lee Kyungeun, Arirang news.