In response to Trump’s probe on auto tariffs, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga noted that Japan is closely monitoring the situation and emphasized that any trade steps should be in accordance with WTO rules. Trade Minister Seko said the potential auto tariffs are regrettable and warned that the would cause confusion in the global economy.

As a recap on recent Japanese trade statistics, the Finance Ministry reported JPY 626B surplus in April, up 30.9% from a year ago. Exports jumped 7.8% to JPY 6.8T, up fro the 17th straight months. Import rose 5.9% JPY 6.2T.

Japan’s trade surplus with the US rose 4.7% to JPY 616B as export rose 4.3% and import rose 3.9%.

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Transport equipment is a major contributor to the export to US, and overall export growth in April. Total transport equipment contributed to 39.4% of exports to the US and grew 5.3% to JPY 507B. Motor vehicles was a large part, at 30.2% of total exports to the US, grew 10.0% to JPY 389B.

Japan is one of the few top 10 steel importers to the US who’s not even granted a temporary exemption on steel tariffs. Though, iron and steel products exports to the US rose 13.7% in April to JPY 18.2B.

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