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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump meet on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 30, 2018 (Kyodo photo via AP Images).

Why Trump’s Race for a Quick Trade Deal With Japan Will Come Up Short

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Until Jan. 23, 2017, the United States had a major free trade agreement with Japan and 10 other countries called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But on his first day in office, President Donald Trump withdrew from the TPP, which had been signed just a few months earlier by President Barack Obama as his signature piece of trade policy. Trump was fulfilling one of his first campaign promises, having railed against the deal for years. At the signing of his Executive Order pulling the U.S. out of the TPP, Trump declared that it was a “great thing for the American worker, what we just did.”

American farmers, who are already footing most of the bill for Trump’s “America First” trade policies, probably don’t feel that way today. Japan and the other Pacific Rim countries made minor tweaks to the agreement, now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, and began implementing it at the end of last year. Without the U.S. in it, the deal is creating problems for many American exporters. ...

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