Trump highlights the threat of tariffs that forced a U-turn by Japan unlike the weakness of Obama
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
President Donald Trump of America is highlighting his “tariff diplomacy” by forcing recent concessions from Canada and Japan respectively. Of course, Trump understands the need to “give and take,” but with the objective being that America will take more, unlike past unequal trade agreements according to his thinking. Therefore, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was forced to reach out to Trump despite all the smiles in front of the camera.
Under the leadership of President Barack Obama, the leader of Japan told him strongly that Japan had no interest in a bilateral economic trade deal. Yet, Trump, just like pressuring North Korea to a much higher degree in the realm of geopolitics and the military angle, and utilizing tariff issues with Canada and Mexico respectively; it seems that Trump’s pressure tactics are meeting with success. Hence, confidence from Trump about the new bilateral approach being considered by Japan.
Trump stipulated, in relation to the weakness of Obama and the past confidence of Abe, “You don’t have to negotiate, but we’re going to put a very, very substantial tax on your cars if you don’t'”
In another veiled threat to Abe despite the extremely cordial relations between America and Japan, Trump said strongly, “I’m sure that we’ll come to a satisfactory conclusion. And if we don’t…”
Modern Tokyo Times, in another article, reports, “Abe, understanding the determination of Trump, and seeking to quell tariffs on autos and other areas in Japan, reluctantly agreed to bilateral trade talks by putting a spin on the nuance.”
Yet, like Trump states, “This was something that, for various reasons over the years, Japan was unwilling to do, and now they are willing to do so.”
In other words, Trump’s tariff approach obtained concessions from the leader of Japan. Hence, Trump said bluntly, “Without tariffs we wouldn’t be talking about a deal.”
Overall, Trump is correct by stressing yesterday that America would not have obtained concessions from Japan without the genuine threat of stringent tariffs. Of course, Abe and his cabinet can put a spin on events – just like the leader of Canada – but overall it is clear that Trump’s aggressive approach is working unlike the meekness of Obama.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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