U.S. President Donald Trump accused Japan on Wednesday of treating the United States unfairly on trade, claiming that Japan exports cars with low tariffs but does not take American cars.
Speaking at a news conference a day after the Republican Party lost control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, Trump also said he will hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un early next year.
When asked about trade by a Japanese reporter, Trump first said, "Say hello to Shinzo" (referring to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe). He also said he didn't understand the reporter. Then while calling Abe "one of the people I'm closest with," Trump said, "I tell him all the time that Japan doesn't treat the United States fairly on trade. They send in millions of cars at a very low tax. They don't take our cars."
Trump criticized Japan's trade surplus with the United States, adding, "But don't feel lonely because you aren't the only one."
The administration is expected to push Japan for increased market access for automobiles and agriculture when the two governments start negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement as early as in mid-January.