What Happened: Leaks from ongoing U.S.-Japan trade discussions suggest both sides have yet to agree on key details of an agreement despite comments by U.S. President Donald Trump that both countries intend to sign a deal during the U.N. General Assembly between Sept. 23-30, Bloomberg reported Sept. 5. Additionally, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could directly negotiate on the issue of U.S. auto tariff threats and a final agreement could include a separate document on import duties, according to sources close to the negotiations.
Why It Matters: Although it remains unclear if the United States and Japan can reach an agreement in time for the U.N. General Assembly, both sides are expected to work out the details of the deal within the coming weeks, including the scope of Japan's agricultural market opening to U.S. imports. Japan is hoping to receive a binding U.S. guarantee that Washington will refrain from future auto tariff threats after the United States threatened Mexico with import duties in late May even after signing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Background: Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced during the G-7 summit on Aug. 25 that the United States and Japan had reached an agreement on trade "in principle" and that both countries would sign the deal at the U.N. General Assembly. Washington also touted large-scale Japanese purchases of wheat and corn that have yet to be detailed.