While the media rages endlessly about impeachment and Russia, Trump is continuing to work on his primary agenda items, particularly working out new and more useful trade deals with key US allies. Trump has said he is hoping for a new deal with Japan by May:
President Donald Trump said on Friday it is possible that the United States and Japan could reach a new bilateral trade deal by the time he visits Tokyo in May, but he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cited areas where they differ on trade.
Abe’s visit, which is to include a round of golf on Saturday with Trump, is to set the stage for a trip to Japan that Trump is taking in late May to celebrate Crown Prince Naruhito’s becoming the new emperor of Japan.
Trump said negotiators for the United States and Japan are making progress in his drive to rebalance their trade relationship in a way that reduces chronic U.S. trade deficits with Japan.
“I think it can go fairly quickly. Maybe by the time I’m over there. Maybe we sign it over there. But it’s moving along very nicely and we’ll see what happens,” Trump said about the trade deal.
A senior Japanese government official told Reuters after the Oval Office discussions that “based upon the trust between the two countries,” the two leaders “agreed to accelerate the discussions in order to achieve an early result on Japan-U.S. trade talks.”
Of course, there are areas of disagreement, or a deal would have already been finalized, but Trump sounds pretty optimistic about progress being made.