FILE - In this May 17, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to speak at the National Association of REALTORS Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo, in Washington. While in Japan, Trump can point to Tokyo’s streets to drive home a sore point in trade relations between the allies: the absence of made-in-USA vehicles. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Japan trade a problem for Trump, but not as bad as China

May 24, 2019 - 10:10 pm

TOKYO (AP) — While in Japan, President Donald Trump can point to Tokyo's streets to drive home a sore point in trade relations between the allies: the absence of made-in-USA vehicles.

The $70 billion Japanese trade surplus with the U.S. is dwarfed by China's $379 billion surplus, and the trade tensions between Washington and Tokyo are far less volatile than the tariffs war with Beijing.

But the disputes between Japan and the U.S. are longstanding and intractable. Analysts say the bilateral agreement with Tokyo that Trump has sought since pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement two years ago is still far down the road.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has carefully courted Trump since before he took office and that cordial, golfing buddy relationship has helped keep relations on an even keel.

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