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Japan Wants to Keep Trade Hardliner Wilbur Ross Away From Some Economy Talks

  • Ross has criticized barriers to U.S. car and food exports
  • Pence seen in Tokyo as taking friendlier line on trade
Wilbur Ross, U.S. secretary of commerce, appears at a news conference in Washington on March 10, 2017.

Wilbur Ross, U.S. secretary of commerce, appears at a news conference in Washington on March 10, 2017.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Updated on

Japan wants to keep Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross out of an economic dialogue with the U.S. as it seeks to avoid disputes with the Trump administration over a weaker yen and trade imbalance, according to a Japanese official who asked not to be identified.

Ross, seen as a hardliner on trade issues, joined Vice President Mike Pence in Tokyo on Tuesday as the nations kick off their exchange. The commerce chief met with his counterpart, Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko, on Tuesday morning, although he won’t join the formal dialogue between Pence and Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, another government official said.