What Happened: Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi has voiced opposition at plans to include measures against currency manipulation in a potential trade deal with the United States, noting that the countries' finance ministers should handle currency matters, The Japan Times reported April 16.
Why It Matters: Japan is pushing to limit the initial tranche of the deal to less contentious matters related to the trade in goods. Although including a clause on currency manipulation in a potential trade deal with the United States would not impose a binding constraint on Japan's monetary policy, Tokyo will still push back against any limits.
Background: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reiterated over the weekend that Washington would push for the inclusion of currency manipulation in trade talks with Tokyo. Both sides agreed in September 2018 to begin talks within a framework that would grant the U.S. market access to Japan on a par with Tokyo's recent trade agreements with the European Union and the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.
- Japan, U.S.: Industrial Giants Take the Slow Road to a Trade Deal (April 12, 2019)
- Asian Free Trade Proposal Is Broad in Scope, Narrow in Focus (March 25, 2019)
- Japan Drafts a Delicate Approach to U.S. Trade Talks (Feb. 11, 2019)