US President Donald Trump says Japan's prime minister has assured him of stepped up Japanese investments in the US Photo: AFP
politics

Trump says Abe agrees to invest more in U.S.

33 Comments

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he had secured assurances from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Japan will invest more in the United States.

"I had a phone call this morning with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I suggested that he invest more and open up more plants," Trump told reporters and lawmakers at the White House.

"They announced, as you know, a number of plants coming in to Michigan and other states, but we want to bring in more," he continued. "They will do that, he said they will do that."

This year has seen a renewed push by Trump to change the terms of trade with some of America's closest allies.

The controversial president believes that countries like Japan which exist under America's security umbrella are not paying enough for the privilege.

Earlier this week he vowed a "reciprocal tax" on trading partners who have trade surpluses with the United States, although details of that proposal have not materialized.

"We cannot continue to be taken advantage of by other countries," Trump said. "We lose vast amounts of money with China and Japan and South Korea," he added. "They are getting away with murder."

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
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I didn't realize that politicians such as Abe could invest in foreign countries, I always thought that businesses do?

18 ( +20 / -2 )

small price to pay in return for keeping your protectionism and not opening your markets to imports on agriculture despite a shortage of vegetables and cabbage costing 400 yen at the markets. Still, no imports... How far will Japan go to protect lazy farmers

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

"We lose vast amounts of money with China and Japan and South Korea," he added. "They are getting away with murder."

I know Trumps undiplomatic language appeals to his base and I get the attraction as distinct from the sort of "talk a lot and say nothing" language that typically comes from professional politicians, but he seriously needs to grasp that America has and needs positive relations with Japan and South Korea and tone down his aggressive attitude.

Fundamentally he needs to realise that the U.S has competitive advantages and un-competitive disadvantages across a vast range of industries. Like every other country. You will never see Japan as the bread basket to the world for example. Its not a simple equation to change and requires a lot of investment over many years. It also requires a government willing to rip corporate America hard when they engage in business that clearly goes against America's long term interest, like they have done to a large degree since the 1970's.

I still see no great narrative coming out of the American administration that its time for U.S Inc to withdraw from China and head to India which would absolutely be in their best long term interest. A radical approach is needed to deal with China, but for Japan and South Korea its a case of extending a friendly hand, seeking a long term mutually beneficial approach and the steady and persistent use of a scalpel to chip away at those trade imbalances, rather than a single blow of the rhetorical hammer.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I didn't realize that politicians such as Abe could invest in foreign countries, I always thought that businesses do?

Well, Trump's golf courses are bankrolled by the Russians and his real estate business is bankrolled by the Russians, so that's how he sees the system as working.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

But the J media says the talks were abt NK.

Anyway if even Abe said those, its nothing more than a promise to a kid. Last time i checked, Abe didnt have any plants to shift to the US

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"I had a phone call this morning with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I suggested that he invest more and open up more plants"

Yeah, sure, because that's how it works !

Recently, the government backed down on tobacco legislation because of pressure from the companies.

For years now the government urged companies to raise the pay rates, and they never listened.

It's foolish to think that Abe could influence one bit on their eventual investments in the US.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

So Abe does run a centrally planned and controlled economy after all?

wtf

7 ( +9 / -2 )

We wonder if Abe San knows about this statement.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

small price to pay in return for keeping your protectionism and not opening your markets to imports on agriculture despite a shortage of vegetables and cabbage costing 400 yen at the markets. Still, no imports... How far will Japan go to protect lazy farmers

exactly.

Well, Trump's golf courses are bankrolled by the Russians and his real estate business is bankrolled by the Russians, so that's how he sees the system as working.

That's right. People in glass houses..

Yeah, sure, because that's how it works !

Recently, the government backed down on tobacco legislation because of pressure from the companies.

For years now the government urged companies to raise the pay rates, and they never listened.

It's foolish to think that Abe could influence one bit on their eventual investments in the US.

Exactly!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What buying US debt is not a bloody enough, to keep you guys a float? ... Open up plants in the US? But everything in the US is made in CHINA for christ sakes, just take a look at everything APPLE!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

So Abe asks a company to open a plant in the US and in return they get what assurances from him?

What business is it of his anyhow?

All sounds rather shady.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

But everything in the US is made in CHINA for christ sakes, just take a look at everything APPLE!

Because the U.S has a hands off approach to private enterprise and unions mean nothing, unlike Germany for example in which governments still have a stake and unions have strength, especially when companies are struggling and looking to restructure in some way rather than fold.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Abe should have replied that in order to acquire the cash to fund more investment in the US, Japan needs to dump a third of its US bonds. That would have snapped Trump out of his delusion as that would have made his infrastructure plan a non-starter. Trump should start treading carefully

5 ( +5 / -0 )

He looks a bit constipated in the pic, doesn't he?

Anyway, the bullying tactics are paying off nicely.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He looks a bit constipated in the pic, doesn't he?

Too many burgers not enough fibre.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Fundamentally he needs to realise that the U.S has competitive advantages and un-competitive disadvantages across a vast range of industries

Fundamentally too many big words for Trump to understand.

Can economists make a simple cartoon to understand economic terms like competitive advantage?

Because the U.S has a hands off approach to private enterprise and unions mean nothing

Not entirely true, the U.S. tax code and U.S. unwilling to penalize U.S. companies that are willing to take advantage of spill over costs in other countries is certainly a policy. It may be a hands off policy, but it is a policy.

What business is it of his anyhow?

True, the question like many of Trump's statements are what are the details?

Is he talking about Japan buying more T-Bills to support Trump's ever expanding deficit? It would happen anyway and would generally be out of Abe's control.

Is Abe talking about making special tax or regulatory provisions making investment in the U.S. more attractive?

How about the U.S. Senate finally approving of the protocol to the US-Japan tax treaty that has been stalled for years by Rand Paul? Or, will Trump consider approving the protocol would upset his nationalistic backers and policies?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Investment in business isn't the business of governments so Abe don't have the right to use taxpayer money in that way and a president of America should know that too but this guy forgets he's not currently a businessman. What does Trump want, an Abe Tower in New York or an Abe golf club in Florida?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I wonder if Japan will get a slice of his big infrastracture 'plan'. The future of the proposed North East maglev is still uncertain due to the unique American politics.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Can’t take seriously what this guy spew from his bigoted mouth. He is all about feeding the ignorance of his supporters, the basket of deplorable.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Well,the U.S. can get the Japanese companies operating in the U.K. after Brexit takes effect.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

He's doing something with his teeth that only old, feeble men do. Jimmy Carter does it, and so does George Bush (the elder).

But they're both safely away from the button.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How would he know what Abe said? Trump never listens to anything anybody says. He just waits until the irritating noise stops then launches off on some new fantasy of his own.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Does Abe have alternatives ? He could invest on Mars, but it is just too far away.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why I have to pay pension? To pay for another country?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Since Commodore Perry has been practising this in 1852 against the Shogunate, Japan may enjoy a new chapter of American gun policy. Amusing really.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe just listened to Trump.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

China likes to export made in China products to USA. Japan? Japanese corporations create factories in USA, then manufacture products in USA and products are sold in USA. Trump said Japanese automakers in USA as American Industry. Abe just listens to Trump and Trump will say Abe invested.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Toshiko

The etnocentric Americans seem to forget that the US industry owns for trillions of investments around the globe.

Ignorant like always you can’t blame them for that lack of knowledge.

In the meantime skilled non-Americans do the job for them :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In USA, UAW tried to unionize Nissan in Canton Mississippi. All Japanese factories are not unionized. So, Nissan raised Hourly wage of unskilled workers as $15 one hour. Bernie Sanders tried to help strike but he stopped after he found wage and automated factories. Nissan in Tenessee and Toyota in Kentucky. But this year, Toyota created huge factories in Alabama. That pleased Trump and Trump said American Industry. Meanwhile Hollywood is busy ion sexual harassment and video film TV series business are almost monopolized by Sony Picture Televisions company.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Met: You don't know USA is almost bankrupting. UuSA do not invest in the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Trump wants to join TPP but too late. SEAsian countries prefer China. Japan? They like Japanese companies creating factories in their countries. Also, railroads. India is good example.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe is alter than Trump.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Net: USA never invested in glove. Open your eyes. Too many wars in the world that it is about being bankrupted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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