(Isabel Reynolds, Maiko Takahashi & Connor Cislo – Bloomberg)
Japan wants to keep Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross out of an economic dialogue with the U.S. as it seeks to avoid disputes with the Trump administration over a weaker yen and trade imbalance, according to a Japanese official who asked not to be identified.
Ross, seen as a hardliner on trade issues, is set to join Vice President Mike Pence in Tokyo on Tuesday as the nations kick off their exchange. He will hold discussions with his counterpart, Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko, but won’t join the formal dialogue between Pence and Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, another government official said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had sought to deal on economic issues exclusively with Pence, who is seen as relatively friendly because of his experience with Japanese inward investment as governor of Indiana. Japan wants to keep the talks separate to ensure that the framework is set by Pence and Aso and doesn’t include requests on specific trade issues, such as automobiles. The Japanese officials asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Click here to read more.