Japan, US target broad bilateral deal by September

Japan has called for abolition of US tariffs on its industrial goods such as car parts. (Reutes)
Updated 05 August 2019

Japan, US target broad bilateral deal by September

  • Cen Exereicitatur magnam, tem eum quid quam eseque solorit, ut lam ratemos reratem incimus.

TOKYO: Japan and the US have agreed to target a broad deal on bilateral trade by September, seeking to bridge differences of opinion over tariffs on beef and the automobile sector, the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.

As part of a drive to rectify what he claims are unfair global trade imbalances, US President Donald Trump has been urging Tokyo to accelerate trade talks that would open up Japan’s politically sensitive agriculture sector, as well as curbing Japan’s US-bound auto exports.
The agreement to target a deal by September was reached during a meeting between Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington, the Nikkei said, citing unidentified negotiating sources.
The paper said both sides hope to have a broad trade deal in place by the time Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of UN general assembly scheduled for later in September in New York.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The agreement to target a deal was reached during a meeting between Japanese economy minister and US trade representative in Washington.

• Both sides hope to have a broad trade deal in place by the time Japanese prime minister meets US president on the sidelines of UN general assembly.

• Washington seeks early opening of Japan’s agriculture sector including reductions in 38.5 percent tariffs on US beef imports.

On Friday, Motegi told reporters after meeting Lighthizer that the two sides made “significant progress” in narrowing their differences on trade and agreed to hold another ministerial-level meeting later this month.
Washington seeks early opening of Japan’s agriculture sector including reductions in 38.5 percent tariffs on US beef imports, while Japan calls for abolition of US tariffs on Japan’s industrial goods such as car parts.
Trump and Abe could also look at producing some kind of trade accord later this month when they may meet on the sidelines of Group of Seven leaders’ summit, the Nikkei added.


Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

Updated 38 min 11 sec ago

Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

  • The Houthi attacks hit two Aramco sites and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply
  • President Donald Trump said Sunday the US was ‘locked and loaded’ to respond to the attacks

HONG KONG: Oil prices saw a record surge Monday after attacks on two Saudi facilities slashed output in the world’s top producer by half, fueling fresh geopolitical fears as Donald Trump blamed Iran and raised the possibility of a military strike on the country.
Brent futures surged $12 in the first few minutes of business — the most in dollar terms since they were launched in 1988 and representing a jump of nearly 20 percent — while WTI jumped more than $8, or 15 percent.
Both contracts pared the gains but were both still more than 10 percent up.
The attack by Tehran-backed Houthi militia in neighboring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, hit two sites owned by state-run giant Aramco and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.
Trump said Sunday the US was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”
Tehran denies the accusations but the news revived fears of a conflict in the tinderbox Middle East after a series of attacks on oil tankers earlier this year that were also blamed on Iran.
“Tensions in the Middle East are rising quickly, meaning this story will continue to reverberate this week even after the knee-jerk panic in oil markets this morning,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Trump authorized the release of US supplies from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while Aramco said more than half of the five million barrels of production lost will be restored by tomorrow.
But the strikes raise concerns about the security of supplies from the world’s biggest producer.
Oil prices had dropped last week after news that Trump had fired his anti-Iran hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, which was seen as paving the way for an easing of tensions in the region.
“One thing we can say with confidence is that if part of the reason for last week’s fall in oil and improvement in geopolitical risk sentiment was the news of John Bolton’s sacking ... and thoughts this was a precursor to some form of rapprochement between Trump and Iran, then it is no longer valid,” said Ray Attrill at National Australia Bank.