U.S. parts producers will proceed with plans to lobby for a new automotive framework agreement with Japan, despite the uncertain picture painted by former Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta. “We think the effort still needs to go forward,” says Chris Bates, executive vice president of the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Assoc. (MEMA), long an advocate of greater U.S. access to Japan's automotive market. And he's optimistic a strategy will develop once key diplomatic jobs are filled. ...

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