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International relations

US-Japan trade talks held up by push for China deal

Washington unable to set date for meeting between Lighthizer and Motegi

Cows feed at a farm in California. Agricultural products are expected to be one of the main topics in a bilateral trade agreement between Japan and the U.S.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan and the U.S. are struggling to lay out a timeline for negotiations toward a bilateral trade agreement as Washington focuses its energies on securing a deal with Beijing.

Both sides were originally eager to conclude a trade agreement on goods, or TAG, as soon as possible to maximize the political benefits. But when high-level talks will even start is now unclear, with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer once again pushing back a meeting with Japanese point man Toshimitsu Motegi.

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