FAST FIVE: Trump Opens State Visit With 'Joke' About Japan's "Substantial" Trade Advantage
In that regard, the president's planned four-day visit isn't off to a great start: The Associated Press reports that Trump opened his state visit by “needling” Japan over its trade imbalance with the US.
In what could be characterized as an attempt to pick up where Reagan left off, Trump has threatened Japan and the EU with “potentially devastating” tariffs on autos and auto parts, and has hinted that his administration will move forward with the trade penalties if US Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer fails to win concessions.
To mitigate this risk, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly planned the trip explicitly to flatter Trump, which has worked for Abe in the past.
During an impromptu question-and-answer session with reporters in the Roosevelt Room on Thursday, Trump was asked whether the United States and Japan could reach a trade deal to avoid tariffs on Japanese automobiles that the president has threatened to enact in six months.
There's only one guest of honor,'” Trump said.