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Trump says US has reached trade deals with Tokyo

WASHINGTONUS President Donald Trump said on Monday that the US had struck trade agreements with Tokyo that could be implemented without congressional approval, but he stopped short of assuring Japan that new tariffs would not be slapped on vital auto exports.

In a letter to the US Congress released by the White House, Mr Trump said he intends to enter into the agreements on tariff barriers and digital trade "in the coming weeks" and was notifying lawmakers the tariff deal would be made under a trade law provision allowing the US president to make reciprocal tariff reductions by proclamation.

"In addition, I also will be entering into an Executive Agreement with Japan regarding digital trade," Mr Trump said in the letter.

His announcement left unclear whether he has agreed not to impose threatened national security tariffs on Japanese vehicles and auto parts. Avoiding the Section 232 tariffs of up to 25 per cent was a major motivating factor for Tokyo in negotiating with Washington on trade.

"At the finishing stage, we plan to reconfirm that 232 won't be imposed," Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a regular news conference in Tokyo yesterday.

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso said the deal will not contain any provision on currencies. - REUTERS

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