US, Japan agree on 1st stage of new trade agreement

Asian stocks gain as risk appetite seizes opportunity to climb on global trade optimism

China not interested in playing ‘Game of Thrones’ with Washington, Beijing says

President Trump and Prime Minister Abe have agreed that these early outcomes will be followed by further negotiations to address remaining areas of interest to each government.

USA president said a deal with China was getting closer just a day after he railed against Chinese "abuses" at the UNGA summit.

Wang Yi, China's state councillor and foreign minister, said in response to questions from Reuters that the Trump administration had shown goodwill by waiving tariffs on many Chinese products.

Montana's two US senators offered bipartisan praise for the deal.

He said China was trying to be nice to him and added to reporters: "I was nice to them".

President Donald Trump is working to strike new deals around the world over his concern of tens of billions of dollars in trade imbalances. The US Commerce Department plans to raise tariffs on another $250 billion in Chinese goods from 25 to 30 percent in mid-October.

"Once implemented, the agreement signed today puts US pork back on a level playing field with our competitors in Japan", said David Herring, a hog farmer from North Carolina who leads the National Pork Producers Council.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, who had negotiated the pact with Lighthizer, was more direct in saying that Japan received assurances that auto tariffs would not be implemented.

Japan wanted a commitment from the US that Trump would not impose tariffs on Japanese cars, which would be a serious blow to one of the country's major industries.

"The deal is actually a failure", said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, a tax advisory firm, "because that means we are still threatening tariffs".

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Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed a limited trade deal on Wednesday that cuts tariffs on USA farm goods, Japanese machine tools and other products while further staving off the threat of higher U.S. auto duties. While Tokyo and Washington were engaged in the ensuing bilateral trade talks, however, the US government concluded that auto imports from Japan and other countries pose a national security threat to the United States and postponed the decision on whether to impose additional tariffs on these imports to mid-November.

Asian markets were cheered by Mr Trump's positive comments on trade, with Tokyo rising 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong adding 0.2 per cent and Seoul up 0.4 per cent. Shanghai was down 0.7 per cent.

In exchange for the removal of taxes on Japanese automobiles, Japan would in turn decrease tariffs against beef imported from the U.S. from 38.5 percent to 9 percent.

Beijing accused Donald Trump of making "untrue remarks" over Hong Kong and Chinese trade commitments on Wednesday, hitting back after the usa president ramped up pressure on China at the United Nations.

Japan is required to import 682,000 tons of rice under World Trade Organization commitments, with the US typically making up about half of that amount, according to USA Rice.

Japan, which imports US farm products worth $14 billion, is America's third largest market. That deal will eliminate or significantly lower tariffs for American beef, pork, poultry, wheat, cheese, wine, certain nuts and berries, cherries, ethanol and other products.

Motegi told reporters that the tariff cuts on United States farm products are "within the range" of tariff cuts granted to countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which Trump quit in 2017.

In return, the USA will either remove or lower duties on some $40 million of agricultural imports from Japan, including cut flowers, green tea and soy sauce.

U.S. Treasury prices traded little changed after U.S. data was weaker than expected and as month- and quarter-end rebalancing increased demand for safe-haven U.S. debt.

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