to keep close eye on business impact of U.S.-Mexico spat
Japanese government officials said Friday they will pay close
attention to how emerging trade tensions between the new U.S.
administration and Mexico could affect Japanese firms, including
major automakers that trade heavily across the border.
"Japanese companies have based parts of their supply chains in
Mexico, so we want to watch closely to see whether they might be
affected," Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko told
press conference following a Cabinet meeting.
A souring of U.S.-Mexico ties is feared after Mexican President
Enrique Pena Nieto cancelled a planned meeting with new U.S.
President Donald Trump following Trump's repeated demand that Mexico
pay for proposed border wall construction.
Trump's press secretary said Thursday the U.S. president, who
campaigned on an "America First" platform, is considering imposing
20 percent tax on all Mexican imports to pay for the wall.
Finance Minister Taro Aso expressed skepticism Friday over the
import tax proposal, noting that the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship
goes both ways.
Asked whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might press Trump on the
issue in a bilateral summit expected in the coming weeks, the
Japanese government's top spokesman said Friday the specifics of the
cross-border trade issue are still too unclear to comment.
"In any case, Japan will thoroughly appeal to (Trump) about the
importance of a liberal economy," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide
Suga told a press conference. (Jan. 27)