Trump Begins Trade Negotiations with Japan
President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he will be meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington on February 10th. The two spoke on the phone this weekend, with Trump reiterating “the ironclad US commitment to ensuring the security of Japan.”
Abe, who had enthusiastically supported the TPP, was the first world leader to pay a visit to Trump after his victory over Hillary Clinton in November.
Trump’s chat with the Prime Minister came just days after he officially withdrew the US from the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal in favor of crafting bilateral deals with each nation. The two discussed trade, investment, security, and how to deal with the growing nuclear threat posed by North Korea.
Trump’s phone call with Abe was the first in a series of trade-based conversations this weekend with leaders from around the world including French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The call with Putin is the most anticipated considering the seemingly tight relationship between the two as well as the accusation that Russia was involved in the email hacks that damaged Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
Editor’s note: Trump knows he has to move quickly. The Chinese have indicated they might want to control the treaty process and perhaps cut the U.S. out of the dominant position. They will not have time.