Biarritz (AFP)

Donald Trump announced Sunday the conclusion of a trade agreement "in principle" between the United States and Japan, hoping that the text can be formally initialed at the UN General Assembly in September.

It is a "very big" agreement, covering the sectors of agriculture and e-commerce, the US president told the press during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the occasion of the summit of the G7 of Biarritz.

"We managed to find a consensus" after "intense negotiations," Abe said. "But we still have a bit of work (...) in particular to finalize the formulation of the agreement," he added.

Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe have good relations. But the US president has repeatedly blasted "the huge bilateral trade imbalance" for the benefit of Japan, and called for "fairer" relations.

Tokyo and Washington had agreed in late June to move up a gear in their discussions.

Toshimitsu Motegi and Robert Lighthizer, negotiators from both countries, agreed on a cut in Tokyo's tariffs on US beef and pork, according to Japan's state-run NHK television and several national dailies.

For their part, the United States will cancel their tariffs on a large number of industrial products from Japan, but those on Japanese cars will be maintained for the moment and will be the subject of further discussions, according to NHK.

It would be a relative disappointment for Tokyo, which wants absolutely avoid the imposition of taxes by Washington on imported Japanese cars.

© 2019 AFP