An official from the Trump administration tells Reuters the U.S. president will seek quick progress toward a bilateral trade agreement with Japan in place of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal he abandoned this week. Graham Mackay reports.
After Donald Trump ditched the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, one topic of conversation will be topping the agenda when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits the White House next month: finding a replacement. Abe is a staunch believer in TTP, seeing it as an engine for economic reform and a key counterweight to the power of China. An official from Trump's team has told Reuters that an alternative trade pact with Tokyo is a priority for the U.S. president, but if his recent words are anything to go by, any agreement will be very much on Washington's terms. "We're going to have trade, but we're going to have one-on-one," Trump said earlier this week. "And if somebody misbehaves, we're going to send them a letter of termination. Thirty days and they'll either straighten it out, or we're gone." On Thursday, Abe he said bilateral free-trade talks with Washington are a possibility. Now that the future of TTP is hanging in the balance, he is clearly disappointed, though it seems he hasn't given up all hope of salvaging the deal. He says he plans to stress just how important it is, when he meets with President Trump in the coming weeks.