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Japan to propose new framework to discuss trade with U.S. - Nikkei

Reuters  |  TOKYO 

By Kihara

(Reuters) - will propose setting up a new framework to discuss trade issues with the in a summit next week, in hopes of persuading it to rejoin the (TPP), the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday.

But the move could backfire, as U.S. could demand renegotiating terms for the pact or talks for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) - both outcomes wants to avoid.

Trump unexpectedly indicated on Thursday the might rejoin the landmark TPP, but only if it offered "substantially better" terms than those provided after previous negotiations.

will make the proposal when he meets Trump at Mar-a-Lago, the president's resort, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the paper said.

is likely to lead the Japanese delegation, with his counterpart likely to be U.S. Trade Robert Lighthizer, the paper said, without citing sources.

The framework will be separate from a bilateral economic dialogue, set up by Abe and Trump in 2017 and led by their deputies, that discusses issues including trade, infrastructure and technical aid.

The dialogue had so far yielded little, with some analysts saying has used it to broaden the agenda and diffuse direct U.S. pressure for a two-way FTA.

A did not confirm the media report, but said Abe wanted Motegi to accompany him to the U.S. to address trade issues, though this would depend on the situation in parliament, where the government faces criticism over suspected cronyism scandals.

Japanese officials are bracing for Trump to get tough in trade talks at the summit, and are particularly anxious that he could target Abe's weak-yen policies.

In his post on late on Thursday, Trump said the was working to make a deal with Japan, "who has hit us hard on trade for years!"

The again refrained from naming any major trading partners as currency manipulators but kept on its monitoring list in a currency report.

During the summit, Abe is likely to explain to Trump Japan's plans to boost direct investment to the United States, the Asahi newspaper said on Saturday.

has long upheld a multilateral framework, as its export-reliant economy has benefited greatly from global free trade, and has called on Trump to rejoin TPP.

But it is wary of renegotiating terms, as that would mean upending a pact forged by 11 nations that went ahead without the after Trump withdrew from the TPP, in one of his first acts as

is also cautious of opening up a bilateral FTA with for fear of receiving pressure to open up politically sensitive markets, such as farming and automobiles.

(Reporting by Kihara; additional reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by and Clarence Fernandez)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 14 2018. 09:21 IST
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