Trump and Abe Meet as Japan and U.S. Try to Reach Trade Deal



Ana Swanson and Motoko Rich | The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan will meet in Washington on Friday as the two countries work toward a bilateral trade deal that could give American farmers more access to Japan’s market and forestall tariffs on Japanese cars.

The potential for such a trade deal was almost unthinkable two years ago, when Mr. Trump pulled the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation pact that Mr. Abe had negotiated with President Barack Obama. Japan, which formalized the now 11-country trade agreement last year, initially refused to strike a bilateral deal, insisting that the United States should instead return to the pact.

But Mr. Trump’s aggressive approach to trade, along with Japan’s concerns about North Korea and China, has helped bring Mr. Abe back to the negotiating table. The president has already placed tariffs on Japanese steel and aluminum and has threatened to impose hefty tariffs on the approximately 1.7 million cars that Japan sends annually to the United States.

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