Trump says to put aside trade negotiations with Abe - until after Japan's July elections | Eurasia Diary -

17 August, Saturday

Trump says to put aside trade negotiations with Abe - until after Japan's July elections

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US President Donald Trump kicked off the second day of a Japan visit on Sunday (May 26) with a round of golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, engaging in personal diplomacy aimed at smoothing tough discussions over differences on trade, especially beef.

Mr Trump is unhappy with Japan's large trade surplus and is considering putting high tariffs on its auto exports if a bilateral trade agreement is not reached. The United States and China are also engaged in an expensive trade war that has pounded financial markets worldwide.

"Great progress being made in our trade negotiations with Japan. Agriculture and beef heavily in play," Mr Trump tweeted after arriving back in Tokyo from the suburban golf course where the two played 16 holes.

"Much will wait until after their July elections where I anticipate big numbers."

During remarks to business leaders on Saturday night, Mr Trump ribbed Japan over its trading edge while saying progress had been made.

"With this deal, we hope to address the trade imbalance, remove barriers to United States exports, and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship. And we're getting closer," he said. "Just last week, US beef exports gained full access to Japan and to the markets in Japan for the first time since the year 2000. We welcome your support in these efforts, and we hope to have several further announcements soon, and some very big ones over the next few months."

Strait Times

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