Trump urges greater Japanese investment in United States - GulfToday

Trump urges greater Japanese investment in United States

Trump

Donald Trump attends a Japanese business leaders› event with William Hagerty in Tokyo on Saturday. Reuters

US President Donald Trump urged Japanese business leaders on Saturday to increase their investment in the United States while he chided Japan for having a “substantial edge”on trade that negotiators were trying to even out in a bilateral deal.

Trump arrived in Japan on Saturday for a largely ceremonial state visit meant to showcase strong ties even though trade relations are problematical. In the evening, the Tokyo Sky Tree tower was lit up red, white and blue in Trump›s honour.

Shortly after arriving at the airport to a red-carpet welcome, Trump attended a reception at the residence of US Ambassador William Hagerty that the White House said included Japanese business executives from Toyota, Nissan , Honda, SoftBank and Rakuten.

Trump told the company officials there had never been a better time to invest in the United States and repeated a complaint that the Federal Reserve›s policies had kept US economic growth from reaching its full potential.

With trade talks ongoing, Trump also got in a dig at Japan and said he wanted a deal to address the trade imbalance between the two countries.

“Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that›s OK, maybe that›s why you like us so much,”he said.

“With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, removing barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship,”Trump said.

Trade is one of Trump’s signature issues, and encouraging foreign investment in the United States is a hallmark of his trips abroad.

Trump will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday for a round of golf, a sumo tournament and a private dinner.

The two men share a warm relationship, which the Japanese leader aims to emphasize as Washington considers tariffs on Japanese auto exports that the Trump administration views as a potential national security threat.

The United States is in the middle of an expensive trade war with China in protest against Beijing’s treatment of US companies, and tensions with Japan and the European Union over trade are simmering.

Trump and Abe are expected to address trade during more formal talks on Monday, but officials have played down the possibility of a deal during the visit. North Korea›s nuclear and missile programs are also likely to be on the agenda.

The trip is largely ceremonial in nature. The president will become the first foreign leader to be received by new Japanese Emperor Naruhito since he inherited the throne earlier this month; he and Harvard-educated Empress Masako will host an elaborate dinner for the Trumps on Monday night. A medium-strength earthquake hit eastern Japan, causing buildings to shake in Tokyo, hours before Trump›s arrival.

The epicenter was southern Chiba, southeast of the capital, the prefecture where Trump is due to play golf on Sunday.

No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of damage.

Japan and the United States still need to work to narrow their differences on trade, Japan›s economy minister said on Saturday, following a meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Toshimitsu Motegi met with Lighthizer in Tokyo for trade talks ahead of a meeting on Monday between the leaders from the two nations. Motegi said there was no discussion of President Donald Trump›s decision to declare some auto imports a national security threat.

“We deepened our understanding of each other›s positions on trade. However, we›re not in complete agreement,”Motegi told reporters following the talks.

“There are still some gaps. We need to work to narrow our differences.”He said he did not expect a total, or even partial agreement on trade at Monday›s summit. Trump arrived in Japan on Saturday for a largely ceremonial state visit meant to showcase strong ties even though trade relations remain problematic. He urged Japanese business leaders to increase their investment in the United States while chiding Japan for having a “substantial edge”on trade.

The United States is engaged in a trade war with China in protest against Beijing›s treatment of US companies, and tensions with Japan and the European Union over trade are simmering.

Meanwhile, The United States has called on China to curb the development of its state-owned enterprises (SOEs), a demand that China sees as an “invasion”on its economic sovereignty, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Saturday.

trade tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated sharply earlier this month after the Trump administration accused China of having “reneged”on its previous promises to make structural changes to its economic practices.

Washington later slapped additional tariffs of up to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate.

As trade talks stalled, both sides have appeared to be digging in. China has denied it had walked back on its promises but reiterated it would not make concessions to “matters of principles”to defend its core interests, although no full details were given.

Agencies