TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Trump said Sunday that he would not push a Japan for a bilateral trade deal until after the country’s elections in July, in what seemed to be a sudden change of tone after slamming Tokyo's "substantial edge" in trade only a day earlier.
“Great progress being made in our Trade Negotiations with Japan,” Trump tweeted during his trip to the island nation on Sunday. “Agriculture and beef heavily in play. Much will wait until after their July elections where I anticipate big numbers!”
Japan, a close US ally, is struggling to avoid a repeat of the trade friction between China and the US, and the damage to its economy that would result if Washington imposed import tariffs on Japanese cars and auto parts.
'Deal needed to address trade imbalance'
While the US president announced his will not to push for a bilateral trade deal until after Japanese upper house elections in July, he attacked what he claimed as the US’s unfair trade imbalance with Japan, promising it would become “a little bit more fair” after a deal is decided.
“With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, remove barriers to United States exports, and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship,” he told business leaders after arriving in Tokyo on Saturday evening. “And we’re getting closer.”
“I would say that Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that's okay. Maybe that's why you like us so much. But we'll get it a little bit more fair, I think. I think we'll do that,” he added, noting that Japan is ordering a “great deal” of US military equipment.
In April, Japan’s trade surplus with the US surged 17.7 percent to 723 billion yen ($6.6 billion).
Trump also pointed to the last week’s reopening of Japanese markets to US beef markets.
“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,” he said.
Trump also said the US relationship with Japan “has never been stronger,” and called it an “exciting time” for commerce between the two countries.
“You're doing fantastically well. I was looking very closely on the ride over at some of the numbers being produced in Japan, and you're doing great,” he said, according to a White House transcript of the US president's remarks.
Trump’s four-day state visit to Japan is meant to showcase the strength of the bond between the two countries.
Trump's visit also included a number of ceremonial events, including a round of golf Sunday morning with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and later attending a sumo tournament, where he awarded the champion with a “United States President’s Cup” trophy.
Trump will engage in serious diplomacy with Japan on Monday as he become the first world leader to greet Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, and his wife, empress Masako.
Source: Press TV