Tensions in U.S.-Japanese Relations

Archive Report

Unsolved Trade Problems

Protectionist Sentiments in Congress

It's april in the nation's capital and the city's famed cherry trees are in full bloom. The original trees were a gift of friendship from Japan in 1912. But this year the beauty of the cherry blossoms has been overshadowed by the acrimonious debate over Japan's burgeoning trade imbalance with the United States. Japan exported $37.6 billion worth of merchandise—mostly manufactured goods—to the United States last year. U.S. exports to Japan in 1981—mostly agricultural products and other raw materials—totaled $21.8 billion (see box, p. 260).

This $15.8 billion trade deficit (see box, p. 255) comes at a time when the United States is in an economic recession that has hit its automobile industry particularly hard. Japanese automakers, on the other ...

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