The White House has released a fact sheet listing the “historic results” of President Donald Trump’s first two years in office. For international trade, these results are listed:

”NEGOTIATING BETTER DEALS FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: President Trump is negotiating fair and balanced trade deals that protect American industries and workers.

  • President Trump negotiated a new trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico to replace the disastrous and outdated North American Free Trade Agreement.
    • Once enacted by Congress, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will better serve the interests of American workers and businesses.
    • USMCA will incentivize billions of dollars in auto and auto parts production in the United States and create a freer and fairer market for American agriculture.
    • USMCA also includes the strongest-ever provisions on labor, environmental, digital, and intellectual property protections to reflect the realities of the 21st century economy.
  • The President renegotiated the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement to preserve and grow jobs in the American auto industry and increase American exports.
  • The United States and Japan are set to begin negotiations on a United States-Japan Trade Agreement.
  • President Trump is establishing a new trade relationship with the European Union (EU), working toward the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to transatlantic trade.
  • President Trump has established a Trade and Investment Working Group to lay the groundwork for post-Brexit trade with the United Kingdom (UK) and has notified Congress of his intent to negotiate a free trade agreement with the UK.
  • Under President Trump, the United States will no longer accept bad trade deals and unfair trade practices that harm American workers and industries.
    • One of the President’s first actions after taking office was withdrawing the United States from the terrible Trans-Pacific Partnership, which incentivized outsourcing.
    • In 2017, the Administration oversaw 82 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.
  • President Trump is holding China accountable for its unfair trade practices, such as the theft of intellectual property, by imposing tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods.
    • Following President Trump’s successful meeting with President Xi in Buenos Aires, both agreed to conduct negotiations over 90 days to address the United States concerns.
  • American steel and aluminum jobs are coming back following President Trump’s tariffs to protect domestic industries that are vital to national security.
  • President Trump imposed tariffs to protect American-made washing machines and solar products that were hurt by import surges.
  • President Trump has expanded market access for American agricultural producers.
    • Argentina has opened to American pork and beef, Brazil to American beef, Japan to lamb and Idaho chipping potatoes, South Korea to American poultry, and more.
    • The Administration authorized $12 billion to aid farmers affected by unfair retaliatory tariffs.”

On December 21, 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) submitted to Congress and released to the public a summary of the Trump administration’s specific negotiating objectives for its U.S.-Japan Free Trade Agreement negotiations. This follows the USTR’s notification to Congress on October 16, 2018, of the Trump administration’s intention to enter into negotiations (see Trump and Trade Update dated October 17, 2018 and Update dated October 26, 2018), the submission of public comments – over 150 total – concerning negotiating objectives for any trade agreement with Japan, and a December 10, 2018 USTR hearing at which more than 40 witnesses testified on negotiating objectives.

The USTR has stated that its aim in the negotiations is to address both tariff and non-tariff barriers and to achieve fairer, more balanced trade. The summary notes that the United States and Japan are “the world’s first and third largest economies, respectively, representing about 30 percent of global Gross Domestic Product.” While Japan is an important market for U.S. exporters, the USTR notes, the market is “still too often underperforming” and “exporters in key sectors such as automobiles, agriculture, and services have been challenged by multiple tariff and non-tariff barriers for decades, leading to chronic U.S. trade imbalances with Japan.” The summary document consists of brief bullet point objectives for such issues as Trade in Goods; Customs, Trade Facilitation, and Rules of Origin; Technical Barriers to Trade; Trade in Services; Intellectual Property; Labor; Environment; Trade Remedies; Dispute Settlement; and other trade-related areas of focus for the negotiations.

In releasing the negotiating objectives, the USTR stated that it may “seek to pursue negotiations with Japan in stages, as appropriate, but we will only do so based on consultations with Congress.” It also noted that these negotiating objectives will be updated in the future and that the Trump administration is committed to working closely and transparently with Congress. Formal negotiations with Japan may commence in late January 2019.