March 9, 2018 / 12:40 AM / 13 days ago

Japan - U.S. tariff decision may have 'big impact' on bilateral relations

TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States’ decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium was “regrettable” and will likely have a “big impact” on economic ties between Japan and the United States, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said in a statement on Friday.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono listens to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during their meeting at the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound in Beijing, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. REUTERS/Andy Wong/Pool

Kono said the decision would also impact the global economy, adding that Japan would respond appropriately upon examining any impact on Japanese companies and World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

President Donald Trump pressed ahead with the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent for aluminium on Thursday but exempted Canada and Mexico, backtracking from earlier pledges of tariffs on all countries.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko and Linda Sieg; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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