Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans visits Washington DC for trade talks

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to visit President Donald Trump in Washington DC to discuss trade. The United States wants a free trade agreement that would cover a range of areas such as goods, services, investment and currency. Japan wants a trade deal on goods only. Part 2 of the negotiations happens in May, when Trump visits Japan.

According to Reuters, Trump has made clear he is unhappy with Japan’s US $69 billion trade surplus with the United States, mainly from auto exports, and he wants a two-way agreement to address it. For the present, Japanese automakers are protected from further tariffs, which are seen as a major threat to the export-dependent Japanese economy.

Trump would likely become the first foreign state guest to meet with Crown Prince Naruhito after he accedes to the throne on May 1, following the abdication of his father Emperor Akihito on Apr 30.

According to Kyodo, Abe and Trump are also expected to discuss how best to deal with North Korea in the wake of the collapse of a second summit between the U.S. president and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February in Vietnam. Abe and Trump are expected to affirm the international sanctions on Pyongyang until it achieves complete denuclearization, according to the Japanese news service.

Abe eyes U.S. trip in late April for talks with Trump on trade: sources (Kyodo/Japan Times Mar 2019)

Japan dodges U.S. auto tariffs, for now, as Trump and Abe agree on trade talks (Reuters Sep 2018)

Date written/update: 2019-03-21