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Japan's Shinzo Abe to meet with Trump for trade summit

By Elizabeth Shim
Japan's Shinzo Abe to meet with Trump for trade summit
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to hold a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in February. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Japan's Shinzo Abe is anxious to meet again with U.S. President Donald Trump and to renegotiate a trade deal after Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

According to Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai, Abe is planning to meet with Trump on Feb. 10 for a summit.

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The Japanese leader is planning to make a phone call to Trump as "early as possible" and confirm the issues that are to be covered during the meeting, the report stated.

Abe has met once with Trump, not long after Trump's election victory. If the meeting goes as planned, the Japanese prime minister would be the first Asian leader to meet with the new U.S. president.

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"I would like to speak to [President Trump] as soon as possible," Abe told Japan's House of Representatives' budget committee. "We are making final adjustments to the schedule ...We want to show the U.S.-Japan alliance is not shaken at home or abroad."

Difference of opinion regarding TPP has prevailed between Japan and the United States since Trump entered the White House and signed an executive order that withdraws U.S. participation in the multilateral trade agreement.

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Tokyo ratified TPP in 2016.

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Abe told Japanese politicians he might discuss alternative solutions, including a bilateral free-trade agreement that could substitute for the U.S. withdrawal.

Other countries in what was once a 12-nation pact are finding ways to compensate for the loss of the U.S. market.

Vietnam is turning to neighboring Asian countries for its exports, Bloomberg reported.

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The end of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership "will push us to expand in other markets," Nguyen Duc Kien, deputy head of Vietnam's National Assembly Economic Committee, said this week, mentioning other markets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations could make up for the deficit.

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