U.S. may give up demand for zero Japan beef tariffs in trade deal: Nikkei

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Froman speaks to media after meetings with Amari in TokyoBy Linda Sieg TOKYO (Reuters) – The United States appears willing to accept a big cut in Japanese tariffs on beef imports rather than insist on scrapping the levy, the Nikkei business daily said on Friday, as the two countries seek a trade deal seen as vital to a broader regional pact. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Japanese Economics Minister Akira Amari wrapped up two days of intense talks on Thursday on the bilateral deal, a cornerstone of the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with both saying progress had been made but that big gaps remained. Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters that an April 24 summit between U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would be an important juncture for the trade talks, but repeated Japan’s stance that the meeting was not a deadline for a deal, Kyodo news agency reported.