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Japan, EU exchange tariff offers in free trade talks

Japan and the European Union exchanged offers on reducing or abolishing tariffs during a current round of free trade talks, a key session before the 28-country bloc decides on whether to continue the talks based on progress made in getting Tokyo to reduce trade barriers, the Japanese government said Friday.

Japan, U.S. trade chiefs arranging to meet over TPP next week

Akira Amari, Japan's minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, said Friday he may meet with U.S. trade representative Michael Froman if the two countries can make progress on settling their differences over tariff issues during working-level negotiations next week. While Amari did not elaborate, government sources said the meeting may take place in the middle of next week following the working-level talks in Tokyo from Monday aimed at breaking an impasse over the TPP talks.

U.S. trade deficit up 7.7 pct in February

Washington, Apr 3 (EFE).- The United States' trade deficit rose 7.7 percent in February to $42.3 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Exports decreased by 1.1 percent that month to $190.4 billion, while imports inched up 0.4 percent to $232.7 billion. The U.S. trade deficit totaled $81.6 billion for the year's first two months, compared with an $85.4 billion deficit in the same period of 2013. February's trade deficit was the highest in five months and largely the reflects the lower value of oil, commercial aircraft and industrial supplies exports.

Changes in Britain's manufacturing model could mute risk from rise in sterling

By Ana Nicolaci da Costa LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's economy is likely to weather the year-long rise in the pound even if some policymakers are worried that a further strengthening of the currency could hurt exports and frustrate a more sustainable recovery. Sterling has jumped by about 10 percent against a basket of currencies since a trough in early March last year, pushed up by Britain's economy staging a much faster-than-expected recovery in 2013.

US trade deficit swells to $42.3 bn in February

The US trade deficit increased sharply in February as imports rose and exports tumbled amid signs of slowing growth in China and Europe's tepid recovery, official data showed Thursday. The nation's trade gap in goods and services with the rest of the world widened to a seasonally adjusted $42.3 billion, from an upwardly revised $39.3 billion in January, the Commerce Department said. The shortfall has increased for three months in a row. Analysts on average had expected a smaller increase to $39.3 billion. The January trade deficit was previously reported at $39.1 billion.

Imports, exports rose, trade deficit became surplus in February: StatsCan

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says merchandise exports grew 3.6 per cent and imports were up 2.1 per cent in February. It says Canada's trade balance with the world went to a surplus of $290 million in February from a deficit of $337 million in January. The report says exports rose to $42.3 billion on the strength of motor vehicles and parts as well as energy products. Imports grew to $42.1 billion on higher imports of energy products, motor vehicles and parts, as well as industrial machinery, equipment and parts.

Trade deficit widens as exports fall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened in February as exports fell to their lowest level in five months, further signs economic growth slowed in the first quarter. The Commerce Department said on Thursday the trade gap increased 7.7 percent to $42.3 billion, the largest since September last year. January's shortfall was revised to $39.3 billion from a previously reported $39.1 billion.

Japan eyes F-35 maintenance hub under new arms export rules

The Defense Ministry proposed Thursday that Japan host a maintenance hub in the Asia-Pacific region for the F-35 stealth fighter jet developed by an international consortium, as it outlined a draft strategy to bolster the defense industry under new arms export rules. The ministry presented the outline to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday, days after Japan adopted new principles and guidelines to relax its arms export ban, the first major overhaul in nearly half a century.

Indonesia swings to trade surplus on palm oil prices

Indonesia swung to a higher-than-expected trade surplus in February as a jump in palm oil prices and slowdown in imports boosted Southeast Asia's top economy, official data showed Tuesday. The surplus of $785.3 million came after a $431 million deficit in January caused by a controversial ban on mineral ore shipments that hit exports. Economists had expected a surplus of around $420 million. Inflation also eased in March, and both indicators add to signs in recent months that the economy has stabilised after being hard hit by emerging market turmoil last summer.

Japan adopts new arms export principles for 1st time in 50 yrs

Japan adopted new principles and guidelines on arms exports on Tuesday, the first major overhaul in nearly half a century of its arms embargo policy, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set the stage for his country to play a more active role in global security. Despite concern that the policy change will hurt the country's status as a pacifist state, Japan effectively removed the all-out ban imposed during the Cold War and opened the way for arms exports under certain conditions.
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