The Cabinet Office of Japan released its latest assessment of the nation’s economy April 16, which stated that foreign and domestic demand for Japanese goods were on the rise and driving moderate improvements to the market, according to The Japan Times.
However, the same week also marked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the U.S. for discussions with President Donald Trump – talks that could ultimately engender a trade dispute.
CNN Money reported that Trump is consistently opposed to trade relationships with nations in which the U.S. purchases more than the partner nation buys back, creating a surplus. Japan is one of these countries, with a $70 billion surplus run up in 2017, but the country is also America’s fourth-biggest trade partner overall. Aggressive attempts at changing the status quo of trade between the two nations could negatively impact all involved in the long run.
Officials like Taro Aso, finance minister of Japan, have pointedly expressed such views, finding the American approach untenable.
“When two countries negotiate, [only] the stronger country gets stronger,” Aso said, according to CNN.
PM Abe will meet with Trump at the president’s frequent winter retreat and exclusive resort, Mar-A-Lago. Other topics expected to be on the world leaders’ docket of discussion include tariffs (and exemptions from such levies), sectors like the automotive industry and the renewed possibility of U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.