WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday after White House talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the two leaders were working together to improve trading relations and that Abe promised new Japanese investment in the United States.
At a joint news conference, Trump said Abe told him Japan was buying “billions and billions of dollars of additional products of all kinds - military jets, airliners from Boeing, lots of farm products.”
“We’re working hard to reduce our trade imbalance which is very substantial, remove barriers to U.S. exports and to achieve a fair and mutually beneficial economic partnership,” Trump said.
Japan, a key American ally, is among a number of countries hit by metal tariffs Trump has imposed this year. The Trump administration has also threatened levies on imports of Japanese cars.
Trump has made clear he prefers a bilateral deal to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Japan, while Abe’s government says multilateral agreements would be best.
“The United States seeks a bilateral deal with Japan that is based on the principle of fairness and reciprocity,” Trump said on Thursday.
Abe said he had a detailed and candid exchange of views with Trump and the discussions focused on North Korea.
Trump said his administration encouraged Japanese investment in new plants in the United States.
“The prime minister told me that will happen,” he said. “We want new auto plants going into Michigan and Pennsylvania and Ohio.”
Reporting by James Oliphant; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by James Dalgleish