September 26, 2018 / 7:54 PM / 2 months ago

U.S. to seek full Japan free trade agreement, congressional approval

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer gestures as he testifies before Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2019 for the Office of the United States Trade Representative, at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday that the United States and Japan are aiming for a full free trade agreement approved by the U.S. Congress and he will soon begin notifications to launch negotiations under the “fast track” trade authority law.

Lighthizer told reporters on a conference call just after President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to launch the talks that he expects the talks will happen in two “tranches,” with the first set aiming for an “early harvest” on reducing tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods.

Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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