Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he is willing to consider two-way trade talks with the United States following President Donald Trump’s decision for his country to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The Wall Street Journal quoted Abe as telling the parliament on Thursday that he still hopes to persuade Trump to change his mind on TPP, but that “doesn’t mean Japan won’t hold bilateral free-trade talks with the US”.
Abe said he plans to visit Washington as soon as possible to meet Trump; officials said the leaders could meet as soon as Feb. 10, according to the newspaper.
Trump has said he prefers two-way deals with trading partners.
Under the 12-nation TPP deal, Japan had agreed to lower tariffs on pork and beef, a major US export, in exchange for the US gradually reducing its 2.5 percent tariff on passenger cars over 25 years, the Journal said.
Such agreements could be revived in a trade deal between the two nations.
The US already has a bilateral free-trade agreement with South Korea that went into effect in 2012.
Tokyo is also pursuing free-trade talks with the European Union.
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