Japan's PM says will keep seeking Trump's
understanding on TPP
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[January 23, 2017]
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he believed U.S. President Donald
Trump understood the value of free trade and that he would keep pitching
a multinational trade pact that Trump's administration has vowed to
"I believe President Trump understands the importance of free and fair
trade, so I'd like to pursue his understanding on the strategic and
economic importance of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade pact,"
Abe told a session of parliament's lower house.
Abe also said he wanted to strengthen the U.S.-Japan security alliance,
based on mutual trust with Trump.
"When we met last time, I believed him to be trustworthy, this belief
has not changed today," Abe added, referring to his November meeting
with then-president-elect Trump.
Abe also said Tokyo wanted to explain how its companies have contributed
to the U.S. economy, a stance the Japanese government has adopted to try
to fend off threats of a "border tax" on imports into the United States.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said separately that
Tokyo would closely monitor any impact of the new U.S. administration's
policies on its companies and that he wanted to deepen economic ties
between the two countries.
Trump took office as the 45th president of the U.S. on Friday and
pledged to end what he called an "American carnage" of rusted factories
and crime in an inaugural address that was a populist and nationalist
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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a policy speech at the start
of the ordinary session of parliament in Tokyo, Japan, January 20,
2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
The new Trump administration said on Friday its trade strategy to
protect American jobs would start with withdrawal from the 12-nation
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact.
The trade deal, which the United States signed but has not ratified,
was a pillar of former president Barack Obama's pivot to Asia, and
Abe has touted it as an engine of economic reform, as well as a
counter-weight to a rising China.
(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko and Oliview Fabre; writing by Linda Sieg;
Editing by Kim Coghill)
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