U.S.–Japan Trade Needs a Reality Check

TRADE NEGOTIATIONS WITH JAPAN are high on the agenda of the incoming administration. But they will produce only frustration unless the U.S. faces up to some unpopular realities.

(1) The trade concessions the U.S. needs from Japan are not where most people seek them, including a good many people in the administration and Congress. They are not in manufactured and agricultural products. Dismantling barriers to the entry of manufactured goods is unlikely to produce substantial sales. And if it did, the impact on U.S. employment and the balance of trade might even be negative, because Japan is by ...

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