Japan is currently making a consideration to impose tariffs on American imports worth over $400 million. The Japanese tariffs will be in response to the aluminum and steel levies that have been imposed by the Trump administration. This was announced on Thursday by the public broadcaster NHK in Tokyo. This comes at a time when the US government led by President Trump is planning to restart talks with a delegation from the Chinese government on Thursday in Washington. The US-China meeting was aimed at deliberating on how to end the trade war between these two economic superpowers. Japan has also said that it is making preparations to deliver a notice to the World Trade Organization regarding its proposal to levy additional tariffs to American imports.
The planned retaliatory tariffs by Japan would be equal to the value of the tariffs that the US government wants to impose on Japanese imports into the US market. The NHK, however, reported that the planned tariffs by Tokyo were a tactic that was meant to coerce Washington to include Japan in the list of nations that would be exempted from the trade tariffs. In 2016, Japan was the fourth largest market in the US. This was according to US government figures released by the Department of Commerce. The US-Japan trade was worth an annual equivalent of $100 billion in 2016. The leading categories in the trade were services, pharmaceuticals, machinery, aircraft, and food.
In a report by theguardian.com, an official from the Japanese government said that although Japan has been considering some action by the rules and regulation that had been set by the World trade organization, Tokyo had not made any decision that was final. The official told reporters that Tokyo was scrutinizing the impact of American tariffs on Japanese corporations and businesses. He added that Tokyo was calling on the US to offer them an exemption from the duties that have been proposed by the Trump administration.
Japan is one of the chief allies of the United States that never received an exemption from the US trade tariffs that are part of President Trump’s policies on international trade. The decision not to include Japan in the tariffs waiver came as a shock to many foreign policy experts and international trade commentators, given the close ties between US President Trump and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Japan has been worried that it might follow in the steps of the European Union and China when it comes to trade with the US.