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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Meets with Japanese Minister of Economy , Trade and Industry Akihiro Ohata

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today met with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Akihiro Ohata at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial to discuss ways to strengthen economic relations between the two countries.

The two leaders discussed renewing the U.S.-Japan Economic Framework and re-establishing the DOC-METI Initiative to help further expand commercial relations and create jobs in the United States and Japan.

"Japan is a strategic partner for the U.S. under the National Export Initiative. We welcome Japan’s movement toward trade liberalization," Locke said.

Locke noted that the two countries share a common interest in the reduction of non-tariff barriers that impede competition. Locke stressed that he would like to see more American exports of food and automobiles and greater market access for America’s services sector, including construction and financial services.

With total exports of more than $51.1 billion, Japan was the United States’ fourth-largest export partner in 2009. Principal exports to Japan are optical and medical instruments, aircraft, and machinery. As of 2009, Japan had invested $264.2 billion into the United States.

In addition, Locke commended the Japanese government on their successful and substantive work on APEC 2010.

“The United States looks forward to building on Japan’s accomplishments when we host APEC in 2011,” Locke said.  “Our two countries will continue efforts to expand trade and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.”