TOKYO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - U.S. Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta said on Thursday (11/01/01) that steps must be taken to improve U.S. access to Japan's car market in order to curb growth in the autos portion of the U.S. trade deficit.

"The autos portion has grown significantly from 1999 to 2000. That just cannot continue," Mineta told a news conference.

He was speaking after Japan and the United States failed in talks on Wednesday to resolve a dispute over an accord designed to improve U.S. access to Japan's auto market.

A five-year agreement on autos and auto parts between the nations expired at the end of 2000 and the U.S. side has been calling for a new accord to boost access for its auto makers to the Japanese market.

 

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