Trump pressed Japan's Abe to build more vehicles in the US

Trump and Abe meet in the Oval Office of the White House on April 26, 2019.
Trump and Abe meet in the Oval Office of the White House on April 26, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump pressed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to have Japanese automakers produce more vehicles in the United States, according to a readout of their recent meeting provided by the US ambassador to Japan on Saturday (April 27).

The two discussed recent public announcements by Japanese car makers, including Toyota Motor's decision to invest more in US plants.

"We talked about the need to see more movement in that direction but I think the president feels very positive that we will see such movement because all the economics support that,"said Ambassador William Hagerty.

Trump has prodded Japanese automakers to add more jobs in the United States as the White House threatens to impose tariffs of up to 25 per cent on imported vehicles, on the grounds of national security.

Trump said on Friday it is possible that the United States and Japan could reach a new bilateral trade deal by the time he visits Tokyo in May, but he and Abe cited areas where they differ on trade.

"We want to ensure that the US has trading terms with Japan that are no less favorable than any other nation," Hagerty said in a phone call with reporters.

He added that Trump is planning to attend the summit of the Group of 20 industrialised nations set to take place in Osaka, Japan in June.

 

Separately, Trump was optimistic trade talks with China would be successful, the ambassador said.