Trump to discuss autos, defense sales in trade talks with Japan’s Abe

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 7, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump said he planned to discuss American purchases of Japanese automobiles and other sensitive trade issues with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their meeting at the White House on Thursday.

Trump, at the start of the meeting with Abe, said he also would raise the U.S. trade deficit with Japan, a key American ally that was among countries hit by the metal tariffs Trump imposed this spring.

“Obviously, we buy a lot of things from Japan – in particular, automobiles. We’ll have to talk about that,” Trump told reporters, adding that Japan also buys a lot of military equipment from the United States.

Abe, who is in Washington to meet with Trump ahead of the U.S. president’s historic summit next week with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, praised Trump and said he also wanted to talk about investment.

Their meeting comes as Trump prepares to attend the G7 summit on Friday and Saturday in Canada, where a cool reception may await him following his tariffs on steel and aluminum that also were levied on Japan, Canada, European nations and others.

The G7 group includes Canada, the United States, Japan, Britain, Italy, France and Germany. The EU also attends.