Media reports: Japan and the United States have agreed to include e-commerce in new trade talks

Japan said it has begun talks with the United States to cut tariffs on agricultural and industrial goods and agreed to include digital trade as part of a new bilateral trade agreement, media reported.

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After a two-day meeting in Washington, Japan’s economic revitalization minister, Motegi, said he and U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer agreed to start talking about digital trade, including e-commerce and music distribution services, in due course.

In digital trade, tech giants such as amazon and Google have been calling for the free flow of data across borders and are expected to discuss rules to promote data-driven businesses.

Motegi said that beyond digital trade, Lighthizer did not mention specific types of services and other key areas that the United States wants to include in trade talks.

Motegi also said Japan would not lower tariffs on U.S. agricultural products above those agreed in other trade agreements, such as the revised TPP and the japan-eu free trade agreement.

“And the upward trend in trade between Japan and its new trade agreement partners means a decline in American sales,” said Tomdonoho, president of the American Chamber of Commerce. “So far this year, the United States exports of the largest amount of pork to Japan have fallen by 35%.