Pounding on Tokyo's Door

The U.S. presses Japan to dismantle its barriers to American products

Getting tough with the Japanese over trade is something U.S. officials do in fits and starts, usually without much success. Last year Japanese manufacturers sold $60.4 billion worth of goods in U.S. markets and American companies sold $23.6 billion worth in Japan. As the gap keeps widening, tempers in Washington are growing short. Deeply frustrated by failures to pry open the Japanese market, American policymakers are launching an all-out drive to overcome what they view as Tokyo's intractable resistance to American goods. Says Missouri Republican John Danforth, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee: "I honestly believe that Japan has no interest...

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