Despite frequent assurances that they continue to enjoy a warm friendship, U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over two days of talks apparently failed to bridge significant differences on major trade issues.
Trump declared his discussions with Abe “extremely productive,” but few details of success emerged during their joint news conference Wednesday.
“President Trump and I agreed to start talks for free, fair and reciprocal trade deals,” said Abe, without providing specifics.
Trump expressed his preference for a country-to-country “free trade agreement” between the United States and Japan, while Abe bluntly called for Washington to re-enter what was previously the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Trump pulled the United States from the comprehensive trade pact shortly after taking office.
Japan’s position is “TPP is the best for both of our countries,” Abe told reporters during the news conference at Trump's private resort on the Florida Atlantic coast.
Trump also did not lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Japan, despite previously giving other U.S. allies exemptions.
The second of two days of talks Wednesday was devoted to trade after the leaders played 18 holes of golf at one of the president’s nearby courses.
Source : VOA