Japan PM Abe to Discuss Aluminium Tariffs with U.S. President Trump Later This Month

Japan PM Abe to Discuss Aluminium Tariffs with U.S. President Trump Later This Month

The administration of United States President Donald Trump announced on Monday that it would be engaging in face-to-face talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe over the two countries’ trade relationship later this month.

Per a press release on the subject disseminated by the White House, the duo will meet at Trump’s quarters in Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on April 17th and 18th to “explore ways to expand fair and reciprocal trade and investment ties between the United States and Japan, two of the world’s wealthiest and most innovative economies.”

To date, Japanese aluminium producers have yet to win an exemption from the Trump administration’s blanket 10-percent tariffs on all imported aluminium, but the Japanese government assures its citizens that the failure to secure such a reprieve is not from a lack of pursuing the same.

Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko announced prior to the tariff’s enactment last month that the government would be pursuing an exception. Citing the two countries’ strong trade relationship and status as mutual allies, Seko opined at the time that the odds of receiving a carve-out to the tariffs were high.

The Japanese aluminium industry has also called upon the Trump administration to relent on its aluminium tariffs. Late last week the trade group Japan Aluminium Association went on record with its condemnation of the blanket aluminium tariffs, saying that such tariffs will needlessly complicate Japanese aluminium product’s road to American consumers. The association also voiced a concern that such tariffs will have the unintended but damaging effect of flooding the Asian market with excess aluminium products, which is likely to radically depress the element’s value.

Japan sent an estimated 31 thousand metric tons of aluminium products to the United States so far this year. To date in 2018, industry experts estimate the country’s aluminium producers have turned out 2.06 million metric tons of rolled and extruded aluminium production.