President Donald Trump announced early this week that he will clear the trade issues with its long term trade partner Japan as soon as possible and would announce the details publicly by August. He made this announcement just before the impending week long state visit to Tokyo for sorting out the trade issues with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Mr. Trump stated that the balance of trade between both nations will be straightened out soon. As per latest details of US Trade Representative the deficit of US with Japan with relation to goods and services was at $56.8 billion during 2018.
This visit is likely to discuss long pending threats of US to put tariffs on automobile imports from Japan and Europe. But when the subject was brought up in March, Trump postponed the auto tariff levy threat by 6 months and told Robert Lighthizer, US Trade Representative to request trade agreements from Europe and Tokyo. He also tried to exert pressure on Japan after arrival in Tokyo, saying that it has always had a substantial advantage over US for several years and asked local businessmen to invest more in United States.
Trump had stated that not much progress will be made on trade front by Japan as the ruling party of Mr. Abe is facing an election soon. During the visit he made a formal visit to Japan’s new emperor Naruhito and his wife and watched a game of Japan’s national sport sumo with Prime Minister Abe. Experts say that Trump’s visit is more symbolism than a trade discussion and both heads of state seem to be enjoying easy camaraderie. Trade officials on both sides indicate that nothing will be discussed until elections in Japan’s upper house end by July as disagreements over issues like automobiles and agriculture between both nations will take time to get resolved.