G7 Surprise: Donald Trump Announces Trade Deal In Principle Agreement with Japan

President Donald Trump welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Donald Trump announced a new trade deal in principal with Japan on Sunday, during the G7 summit of world leaders in France.

“This is a tremendous deal for the United States,” Trump said after announcing the deal with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “It’s a, really, tremendous deal for our farmers and agricultural ranchers, and also involves other things.”

The two leaders agreed on a deal in principle, which they expected would be signed during the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.

After withdrawing from the proposed Trans-Pacific partnership, Trump pursued a bi-lateral deal with Japan since becoming president. The president developed a close personal friendship with Abe and continued pressing for a better deal for the United States.

Trump hailed the deal as a big step for American farmers, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the private sector would likely purchase new volumes of corn from the United States. Japan is also expected to cut tariffs on American beef, pork and agricultural products

“We believe that there is a need for us to implement emergency support measures for the Japanese private sector to have the early purchase of the American corn,” Abe said via a translator, noting that Japan was experiencing pests in their crops.

United States Trade Representative Robert Lightgizer said the deal included agriculture products, industrial tariffs, and digital trade, but did not share additional details.

“We look forward to finishing the additional work and having it be implemented as soon as possible in Japan and the United States,” he said.

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