By Spencer KimballPresident Donald Trump, on the first day of his state visit to Japan, dug at Tokyo for what he called a “substantial advantage” in trade and asked Japanese businesses to invest more in the United States. “Japan has had a substantial advantage for many, many years, but that’s okay, maybe that’s why you like us so much,” Trump said during a meeting with Japanese business leaders in Tokyo. The president said Tokyo and Washington were “getting close” to a deal that would address the U.S. trade deficit. The U.S. had a deficit of $56.8 billion in goods and services with Japan in 2018, according to the U.S. Trade Representative. “With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, remove the barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship,” Trump said. The president’s state visit comes amid tensions with carmaker Toyota over potential auto tariffs. Trump has repeatedly threatened Japanese and European carmakers with tariffs. Earlier this month, Trump postponed a decision on car levies for up to six months and directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to seek trade agreements with Tokyo and Brussels.
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