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Trump lashes out at 'unfair' Japan trade ties


USPresident Donald Trump has lashed out at Japan over trade and said he wouldpush for a fairer economic relationship between the two countries.


Speaking to business leaders inTokyo on Monday he said Japan "has been winning" on trade in recentdecades.


He also called on Japan to buildmore cars in America.
Mr Trump's comments come at thestart of a 12-day Asian tour which is expected to be dominated by North Koreaand trade.


The US leader said his countryhad "suffered massive trade deficits at the hands of Japan for many, manyyears".


"We want free and reciprocaltrade but right now our trade with Japan is not free and it's not reciprocaland I know it will be and we've started the process," Mr Trump told thegroup of US and Japanese executives.


He praised Japan, which countsthe US as its second largest trade partner after China, for buying Americanmilitary hardware.
Mr Trump also said he wanted hiscountry to be the most attractive place to hire and invest.


Trade ties


Japan had a $69bn (£52.8bn) tradesurplus with the US in 2016, according to the US Treasury department.


The US has a much biggerimbalance with China, which Mr Trump has long rallied against. The total traderelationship between the pair was worth $648bn last year, but trade was heavilyskewed in China's favour with the US amassing a nearly $310bn deficit.


Mr Trump's "America First" views areunderpinning re-examination of trade with Asia, prompting a crackdown on China'sintellectual property practices and fresh negotiations afterthe US walked away from a major regional trade pact, the Trans Pacific Tradepartnership.

特朗普先生的“美国第一”观点是对与亚洲进行贸易重新审视的基础,这促使美国对中国的知识产权行为进行了打击,并在美国放弃了一项重要的区域贸易协定——跨太平洋贸易伙伴关系(Trans Pacific trade partnership)之后进行了新的谈判。

The remaining 11 nations taking part in the TPP, whichincludes Japan, are proceeding with negotiations on the agreement without theUS.
The US and Japan are now working on a new roadmap fortrade, but talks could put a strain onotherwise warm relations between the two countries.


Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, was the first foreignleader to meet Mr Trump following his election in November 2016. The pair played golf in Japan onSunday after which the US president described his relationshipwith his Japanese counterpart as "really extraordinary".


Made in America


Despite that, Mr Trump took aimat Japanese carmakers in Tokyo on Monday."Try building your cars inthe United States instead of shipping them over. That's not too much toask," the US president said at the briefing, adding, "is that rude toask"?
Data from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, a non-profittrade group, shows that in 2016, three-quarters of Japanese branded cars soldin the US were manufactured in North America.

非营利贸易组织日本汽车制造商协会(Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association)的数据显示,2016年,在美国销售的日本品牌汽车中,有四分之三是在北美制造的。

Last year, those carmakers built nearly 4 millionvehicles and 4.7 million engines in the US it said.
They contributed $45.6bn in total investment through 24manufacturing plants, and 43 research and development and design centres in theUS.


Analysis: Karishma Vaswani, Asia business correspondent
Why is President Trump complaining about Japanese cars?

分析:亚洲商业记者Karishma Vaswani

It's true, as he points out, that there is a massivetrade deficit between the US and Japan. Last count it was about second only toChina's deficit with the US - although that's much bigger.


It's also true that while a lot of Japanese cars ARE madein the US, Americans are still buying cars from Japan, along with agriculturalgoods, electronic components and pharmaceutical products.


This doesn't wholly explain the trade gap though. Theweakness of the Japanese currency, the yen, does. The weaker the yen againstthe US dollar, the cheaper Japanese goods are for American shoppers.


But this is an old argument, which Tokyo has heardbefore. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be wary of any push from President Trumpthat will see the yen's value strengthen.