Trumps says the US suffers 'tremendous imbalance' with Japan on trade but is hopeful they can reach a deal

trump abeTOKYO, JAPAN - MAY 27: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands prior to their meeting at Akasaka Palace, Japanese state guest house on May 27, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. President Trump is on the third day of a four day state visit to Japan, the first official visit of the country's Reiwa era. Alongside a number of engagements, Mr Trump was guest of honour at a Sumo wrestling match on Sunday and is expected to meet families of North Korean abductees.Eugene Hoshiko - Pool/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump on Monday said there has been a "tremendous imbalance" of trade between the US and Japan and that both countries are working to bridge the gap.
  • President Trump made statements about trade, as well as North Korea, and Iran, during a four-day state visit to Japan aimed at showing off the strong relationship between the two nations.
  • Despite the friendly disposition between the leaders, Trump stressed that the US was not pleased with its nearly $60 billion trade deficit towards Japan.

President Donald Trump on Monday said there has been a "tremendous imbalance" of trade between the US and Japan and that both countries are working to bridge the gap.

Despite the friendly disposition between the leaders, Trump stressed that the US was not pleased with its nearly $60 billion trade deficit towards Japan. Trump has threatened to impose higher tariffs on imports of Japanese auto parts unless the two nations can iron out the difference.

"There's been a tremendous imbalance and we're working on that," Trump said of trade between the two nations, adding that the US needed to "do a little catching up with Japan."

"They have been doing much more business with us, we'd like to do a little bit more business in the reverse, we'll get the balance of trade I think straightened out rapidly."

President Trump made statements about trade, as well as North Korea, and Iran, during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday ahead of their bilateral meeting. The president also met with new Emperor Naruhito earlier in the day and took a selfie with Abe as part of his four-day state visit to Japan aimed at showing off the strong relationship between the two nations.

Trump also said that a trade announcement will likely be announced in August, though he did not elaborate on the details.

Read more: Trump says he 'smiled' when Kim Jong Un insulted Joe Biden, wasn't 'disturbed' by North Korean missile tests even though his advisers were

Earlier this month, the Trump administration delayed auto tariffs by up to six months as it negotiates a trade deal with the EU and Japan on what it has deemed an issue of national security.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a tweet on Friday that the EU "completely rejects" the US assertion that European car exports pose a national security threat, and said the EU is "fully prepared to negotiate" a limited trade agreement.

According to the US Trade Representative, Japan was America's 4th largest goods trade partner in 2018. On Saturday, Trump told Japanese business leaders in Tokyo that Japan has a "substantial advantage" in trade, but both nations are moving to bridge the gap.

Later, Trump expressed optimism that a trade deal could be reached with Japan and also with trade nemesis China.

"I think we will have a deal with Japan, likewise I think we will have a deal with China."

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