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Trump focused on trade deficit with Japan: report

Updated

By Agence France-Presse

President Donald Trump remains focused on reducing the US trade deficits with key economic partners, and Japan may be the next target, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

US President Donald Trump gestures as Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe smiles in the Oval Office at the White House in June; Trump has set his sights making Japan "pay" for their trade surplus with the US, according to a columnist (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm / MANILA BULLETIN)

US President Donald Trump gestures as Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe smiles in the Oval Office at the White House in June; Trump has set his sights making Japan “pay” for their trade surplus with the US, according to a columnist (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm / MANILA BULLETIN)

With trade disputes in full swing with China, and as yet unresolved with the European Union, Canada and Mexico, Trump now seems focused on making Japan “pay,” according to the column.

Trump called James Freeman, assistant editor of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, to thank him for his positive comments about the economy and Trump’s policies, and remained focused on the gap between exports and imports.

“It seems that he is still bothered by the terms of U.S. trade with Japan,” Freeman wrote. “Mr. Trump described his good relations with the Japanese leadership but then added: ‘Of course that will end as soon as I tell them how much they have to pay.'”

The US had a deficit of $56.6 billion with Japan last year, but a surplus in services of $13.4 billion.

And while Freeman noted, as many economists have, that trade deficits often are a sign of “a thriving economy like the one we have now … the President sees a problem.”

 

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