politics

Pence tells Japan U.S. wants results on trade deal

22 Comments
By Roberta Rampton and Minami Funakoshi

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Japanese officials counter that Tokyo accounts for a much smaller chunk of America's deficit than in the past, while China's imbalance is much bigger.

I have come to expect these, "deflect and obfuscate" types of comments from the average Japanese person, but at the ministerial level I would have expected a more politically correct comment with regards to this thorny problem.

Guess he couldn't come up with anything better to say!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

What a strange couple: Pence is a Christian Supremacist who wants to establish a theocracy in the US, while Aso is a manga reader who spends his nights in Ginza hostess bars. I wonder what they can find in common...

Also, as Yubaru points out, Japanese officials giving it the school playground style, "They're worse than us", is embarrassing...

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

if the US is smart we won't push for cars we will push for agriculture. The trade imbalance with Japan is obscene and needs to be corrected immediately.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Don't lie about Abe. He is not inteested in hostess. He only likes Akie feeding chocolate. He inherited his gene of no playing woman.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru Today 07:26 am JST Japanese officials counter that Tokyo accounts for a much smaller chunk of America's deficit than in the past, while China's imbalance is much bigger. I have come to expect these, "deflect and obfuscate" types of comments from the average Japanese person, but at the ministerial level I would have expected a more politically correct comment with regards to this thorny problem. Guess he couldn't come up with anything better to say!

But he's absolutely right. he US deficit with Japan is $69 Billion. With China it's $347 Billion.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Agriculture is a difficult issue. If Japan imports foreign agricultural products without high tariff, Japanese farmers go broke instantly. Personally I want more American products at Japanese supermarkets though. They are gradually opening the market. Meats are already cheaper than fish.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

trump and pence are attacking the problem at the wrong end.Deficits exist because other than the Iphone and Heinz ketchup,we don't make anything that someone else makes that's comparable or better. When you add in the complete dislike of the trump administration around the world,the 6.7 BILLION consumers outside the United States don't want any American products.If we spent the same amount on Education and R&D that the Germans,the Japanese,The Chinese and the South Koreans do, we'd be able to compete. I'm an American and I don't want any part of the junk products that are made here. There's a reason German,Japanese and South Korean cars are the choice of the world's consumers.THEY WORK. Our tech superiority is driven by immigration.,other wise we wouldn't have Apple or Intel.The only thing we're good at is making war material.Whining about countries with superior products is not the way to fix the deficit.Education and R&D are.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Being European I want more european foods and products here, not more american.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

the only real area where japan can open up is its agricultural sector, and that will hardly put a dent in the trade deficit. there is very little else that japan really wants or needs to import from the US. clothing? there's uniqlo. cars? foggedaboutit. electronics and appliances? see cars.

but aside from that, a trade deficit isn't really a bad thing. america gets cheap imported goods, and US manufacturers are forced to streamline their operations.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When a rich man and a poor man make a trade between them, it tends that the poor man sells more than the rich man simply because rich man has more money to buy.

A country with more wealth will always buy more than ones who have less. US is destined to have a trade deficit.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japanese diabetes already outpacing USA, might as well go full on heart disease. Health in Japan increasingly falls as it pursues a Standard American Diet in meat and dairy

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Pence looks wary and is keeping a comfortable distance from the shrine.

How about the U.S. ratifying the tax treaty protocol that has been in limbo for years because of the GoP?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When will American politicians start wearing some hip ties? The heyday for cool ties was really in the 80's. If you didn't grab a bunch back then....too bad. But these guys...hopeless.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The North Korean crisis was a good oppurtunity to explore more japanese markets for US products especially agricultural products! That means US control of Japanese food providing, imagine an island country's food was totally under foreign control after the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"Japanese farmers go broke instantly"

I do not see a problem with that, it is not a prosperous profession here it might even help the economy

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

But he's absolutely right. he US deficit with Japan is $69 Billion. With China it's $347 Billion.

So? Then let Aso go to China and discuss their deficits with America!

Your response is on the same level. Pence is talking about Japan, if he wanted to discuss the deficit with China he'd go to China!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

hey while im the first to criticize Japan for it heavily protected agriculture which is only a tiny fraction of the J economy, and they should be forced to open their markets . The BS argument that there is a huge trade imbalance is just that BS. On a per capita basis Japanese presently consume 20% more AMerican goods than vice-versa , and if the trade balance on value was made even then the average Japanese would consume twice as much American products than vice-versa . How is that fair trade?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Today we are beginning a process of economic dialogue, the end of which may result in bilateral trade negotiations in the future. At some point in the future, there may be a decision made between our nations to take what we have learned in this dialogue and commence formal negotiations for a free trade agreement. But I leave that for the future.

Wow. Say whatever you want about Pence, but he's certainly learned how to speak Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who does he think he is? What right does he have to tell Japan to get a deal sorted... tosser!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"The trade imbalance with Japan is obscene and needs to be corrected immediately."

Why? Several geniuses posting above seem to think that it should be cars, no agricultural products, or this or that ... which really needs to be regulated controlled taxed or whatever. What happened to all the free trade conservatives? Where are all these currency manipulators?

Non-existent. This is such a bunch of smoke and mirrors. Seriously. The US is going to sell more WHAT in Japan? What? Rice? Nope. Regulated or not, cheap or not, Japanese people will not buy it. Ford trucks? Nope. And making them cheaper is not going to help. What else. Sugar? Beef? Japan has as much as it wants. Coal maybe? Natural gas? Japan will buy as much as the US wants to ship, but last time I checked, US interests are opposing that.

OK. So if the US can't sell more, then should Japan just keep the US from buying more? Nope. Tried that. It just hurt US businesses and gave profits to Japanese companies.

So. Really. Why bother to even yak about it? Pence has no ideas. That is for sure. He is working with a bunch of amateurs anyway. Japan cannot push on a string. I see this kabuki as a bunch of nonsense. It is a waste of time just reading about it. Short of just begging Japan to support the US in very vague terms, I have no idea what this is about. Some dumb campaign promise from a few months ago was nagging at someone... I guess.

PS. There was a brief shining moment in the mid 1980s when the US could claim that Japan was getting an unfair advantage. So what happened? The yen went from 360 to 120 to the dollar overnight, and people STILL did not change their buying patterns. Detroit has declined with a strengthening yen, not a weakening yen. Japanese energy productivity is twice that in the US. Even the huge US debt cannot keep the dollar down, and that is Japan's problem?

PPS. If Pence does not want the US to join TPP, maybe Japan should find some other way. It seems inappropriate for Pence to just poo-poo the whole thing if the US is not going to participate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is easy. Make stuff that the Japanese want to buy, and the trade deficit will go away. And stop complaining about so-called "non-tariff" barriers. Learn your way around the market, like the Europeans and everyone else.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru Apr. 19 01:31 pm JST "But he's absolutely right. he US deficit with Japan is $69 Billion. With China it's $347 Billion." So? Then let Aso go to China and discuss their deficits with America!

Read the article. It's Pence bringing up US trade deficits. Not Aso brining up Japan's deficits.

Your response is on the same level. Pence is talking about Japan, if he wanted to discuss the deficit with China he'd go to China!

Aso's comment is correct. Your attempt to mock it was foolish.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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