Society | Jun 09

Japan seeks unified message in G20 trade talks

Ministers in charge of trade and digital economy from G20 countries will discuss trade issues on Sunday, the second day of their meeting in Tsukuba, north of Tokyo.

As the chair country of the meeting, Japan is hoping to send a united message on promoting free trade. But that may prove difficult.

The trade row between the United States and China has been escalating. The two countries have imposed retaliatory tariffs on each other, and the US is demanding China review its subsidies for state-owned companies.

The US and the European Union are also divided over reforms of the dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization.

Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko reportedly asked US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer over the phone on Saturday night for his cooperation in adopting a ministerial statement.

Seko told reporters that chairing this year's meeting is more challenging than usual. He said he will do all he can to hammer out a statement, including holding separate talks with other ministers as necessary.


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