U.S. steps up trade pressure on Japan ahead of Obama visit

United States Trade Representative Froman visits the new facility for Atlas Devices in BostonBy Antoni Slodkowski and Linda Sieg TOKYO (Reuters) – The United States put last-minute pressure on Japan to compromise in tough trade talks on Wednesday, shortly before President Barack Obama was to arrive for a state visit. The two-way talks – focusing on Japan’s agricultural market and both countries’ car markets – are key to reaching a multilateral trade pact that is central to Obama’s strategic shift towards Asia. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has touted the broader trade deal as vital for growth in the world’s third biggest economy. “This a moment for Japan to take an elevated view and to choose a bold path of economic renewal, revitalization and regional leadership,” U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told reporters after negotiating with Economy Minister Akira Amari ahead of Obama’s evening arrival.

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