U.S.T.R Lighthizer Traveling to Japan for Trade Discussions….

Last month President Trump accepted an invitation from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a state visit to Japan May 25th through 28th. The Japanese government is honoring President Trump as the first state guest of the Reiwa Era, introduced with the coronation of Emperor Naruhito.

The official visit itinerary will include the first formal state banquet hosted by the Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.  The visit is a big honor intended to convey the importance of the relationship between the U.S. and Japan.

Today Reuters is reporting that U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer will be heading to Japan (in advance of President Trump), to meet with Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.  It seems there’s a possibility Trump and Abe have something planned….

(Reuters) – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will visit Japan on May 24 to meet Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to accelerate trade talks ahead of a leaders’ summit a few days later, two sources with direct knowledge of the plan said on Monday.

After a late-April meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump had said it was possible for the two allies to reach a new bilateral trade deal by the time he visits Tokyo in late May.

Kenji Wakamiya, chairman of the lower house of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said he expected the United States would not be as tough on Japan as it had been on China, though adding it was not certain a deal could be reached this month. (read more)


… as if, it wasn’t, um, planned.


{{{*ahem*… nudge-nudge… wink-wink… say-no-more…. say-no-more}}}


[::: walking away whistling now :::]


This entry was posted in ASEAN, Auto Sector, Big Government, China, Donald Trump, Economy, Japan, media bias, President Trump, Press Secretary - Trump, Trade Deal, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to U.S.T.R Lighthizer Traveling to Japan for Trade Discussions….

  1. Old Scroll Ranger says:

    A power play in progress.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. When Trump is away…crap tends to hit the fan. Release of documents?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dutchman says:

      On other thread, Meadows strongly implied “imminent”, so yeah, during trip seems likely.
      And, PDJT also said at one point even more than whats been requested.

      He and Barr both seem to be on the,same page, of ‘get it ALL out there, and Gowdy said there was NOTHING justifying classification; doesn’t reveal ‘sources and methods’ compromise foriegn relations, etc.

      So, hope and expect declassification will include minimal redactions!

      Liked by 7 people

  3. sundance says:

    Liked by 18 people

  4. FL_GUY says:

    Japan hosting a State dinner for President Trump is YUGE!

    With President Trump at the helm of the Ship of State, I feel more secure than I have in years.

    Liked by 15 people

    • MfM says:

      Not just a State Dinner, but the first Formal State Dinner of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.


      Liked by 12 people

      • Pyrthroes says:

        Far’s we recall, over some two years Trump has hosted only one State Dinner, to French President Emile Macron in 2017. On this basis, these few-and-far-between occasions are no longer just for show, but substantive diplomatic exercises endorsing geopolitical/economic issues at the highest level.

        Contra 2009 – ’16, America is in good hands.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Paul Tibbets says:

    The USA and more so Japan have a vested interest in combating China on trade.

    Liked by 9 people

    • YvonneMarie says:



    • Reloader says:

      And as with China, it is in America’s interest to bring Japan into legal and fair trade. Recall that Japan did NOT try to hide, back in the 1970’s, that the country would wage ECONOMIC WARFARE with the United States. And guess what? Currency manipulation, tariffs, non-tariff barriers to trade, government subsidies, product dumping below cost to manufacture, racism on the part of the Japanese, and on and on devastated American industry and jobs. So now industries such as electronics, steel, automobiles, etc. lure so many Americans into being lovers of Japan’s “quality and low prices.” Not smart for Americans.


      • James Carpenter says:

        Fool us once shame on you.
        Try to keep screwing us all over again …
        …say “Hello” to Trump’s trade-wolverines.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Beigun says:

        So true. And all of those US trade deficits with Vietnam, Philippines, etc., in SE Asia are primarily because of third country manufacturing used by Japan to avoid trade friction with the US….like cars in Mexico for the US market. Agriculture has seen 60 years of negotiations with Japan to open the market to US apples and rice…not very nice.

        Japan will be the last trade nut to crack. It has the longest record of consecutive trade surpluses with the US, approaching 70 years. The Swamp is a large part of Japan Inc. And since deception is the Art of War, it is one hell of a comparative advantage if your competitor doesn’t understand that part of the game. China is the new kid on the block for Asian trade.

        Liked by 1 person

        • James Carpenter says:

          Too true.
          And while Abe and the Donald make nice, the real nut will be how the two are willing (and able) to accomodate each other’s interests moving forward.
          Much depends on their success.
          More than any “President-for-Life”, commie, strong-man-flavor-of-the-year ever will be.


  6. Publius2016 says:

    Japan Taiwan South Korea Philippines and US make a very strong economic powerhouse with private property protections! why invest in China where everything is a land lease and they STEAL YOUR IDEAS?

    Liked by 7 people

  7. TradeBait says:

    China is getting outflanked rather quickly. I suspect there will be renewed interest in a deal by them in a few months.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dutchman says:

      T B,
      I see it diffetently. Chicoms can NOT ‘deal’ with PDJT; to agree to his very reasonable demands that they quit cheating, would be slitting their own throat.

      Chicoms see everything as a zero sum game. Theu can not appreciate the concept of ‘win-win’; to them that means whatever happens, China ‘wins’, THATS what all their negotiations aim towards.

      And, they are now in a ‘lose-lose’ situation; they can NOT reach an agreement, because if they don’t cheat, they can not compete.

      They are stuck between the dog and the fire hydrant, and whichever way they turn, they are gonna get wet!

      I don’t know if Xi, or Liu are ‘true reformers’, but at some point, and we ain’t there yet, Chicoms will have to relinquish power. How much suffering the Chinese people have to endure before that happens is the only question.

      VSGDJT can simply continue to twist the screws, and start tightening additional screws. They created this situation for themselves. THEY painted themselves into this corner, and, like the Uniparty (coincidence?) they have left themselves no out.

      Liked by 4 people

    • James Carpenter says:

      Or a war.
      If they don’t think they can survive on a gamble for Trump’s removal.


  8. azchick says:

    Actually mot of the rest of the world has a vested interest in combating China on trade. I LOVE OUR PRESIDENT!

    Liked by 11 people

  9. Publius2016 says:

    Everyone can see clearly that NK is China’s Puppet! take NK away and China would have nothing left! 45 sees clearly that Rocket man is really the figurehead hostage of an elaborate Globalist Uniparty Deep State Think Tank Black Ops!

    Any real NK knows reunification will bring back 100x whatever is given!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Publius2016 says:

    by the way, “rare earths” is a misnomer…USA has even more “rare earths” just not the economic incentive to mine for them…once its labeled as national security, watch! like steel and aluminum or farmland, USA will lead the industries if given protection from dumpers!

    Liked by 5 people

  11. To my way of thinking, both the “China” and the “Japan” dicussions more-or-less boil down to “America’s” post-WW2 presumption that, even though you happen to be “the world’s greatest natural producer of damn-near everything,” it was somehow “better” that you should “eat out at someone else’s restaurant, every day.” This very-silly premise – otherwise known as “globalism” – has cost … not only “our particular country” but “the entire(!) world” … very dearly indeed.

    Because – let’s face it – “that’s just not how The Game of Business™ works, and with very good reason.” We must never, ever forget the wisdom imparted by a one Mr. Ruskin, who counseled us about “those who consider price alone …”

    The rules of the Global Competitive Game must never allow any player to “‘exit, stage left’ to the Bleachers, and allow any other player to carry on the game on his behalf.” But, more or less (IMHO …) that’s what the crazy strategy of ‘Globalism™’ basically is.

    “What FOOLS these Mortals Be!” – Puck … A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dutchman says:

      A more nuanced view would be that at the end of WW2, it made sense for U.S. to put minimal tariffs, while W. Europe and Japan had major tariffs; their industry, infrastructure and population centers had been bombed till the rubble bounced, whereas U.S. mainland hadn’t been hit, at,all and, as a result of the war, our industry was ‘ramped’ way up.

      Problem 1 is, once these countries rebuilt, we didn’t adjust to level playing field.
      #2, Then, this idea of globalisation and multi-national corporations began gaming an already rigged system, and (I was STARTLED to learn from reading here) that lobbyists from the CoC and the multinationals were the ones negotiating ‘on behalf’of the U.S.!

      And previous Presidents, and ‘leaders from both parties’ were ‘fine’ with this!
      And, it was going on, RIGHT IN FRONT OF US, and ‘we’ never SAW it.

      Somebody did, however. And he has been talking about it, for 20-30 years.
      Funny, that!

      Liked by 9 people

      • The time would have been right to “reset” on Trade after Eisenhower, but the D-rats took over to start the Vietnam War and the War on Poverty.

        The combination ceded our future to the Globalists and Socialists.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. The huge honor of the first official visit and dinner by the Emperor is great but reading the expressions between Trump and Abe, I think we are about to see the start of a game of “Chinese Checkers”. It may be more like hockey than the board game!


  13. emet says:

    When (former) President Grant visited Japan, he shook hands with the Emperor. It was pretty shocking to the Japanese, it was the first time anything like that had happened.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rhoda R says:

      Back then the Emperor was a living god. That ended with the end of WWII. The current Emperor’s grandfather was the last of the living gods in Japan.


    • Beigun says:

      US Grant mediated sovereignty of Okinawa (Ryukyu Kingdom) between Imperial Japan and Imperial China on that trip. He was seen as an honest broker by both sides because the US had followed the advice of the Founding Fathers and refrained from foreign entanglements. China basically told Grant that if you let Japan annex Okinawa, well, there goes the neighborhood. Japan meanwhile wined and dined Grant, with heavy emphasis on the former, and guess what? Grant decided on Japan’s annexation of Okinawa, which was followed later by the annexation of Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, Micronesia, and the South China Sea. Empire building the British would be proud of, with the first domino falling in Okinawa. But not the Senkakus….they were not annexed by Japan until China was defeated 20 years later in the 1895 Sino-Japanese War. Now, the US declares it will defend the Senkakus for Japan!?

      Grant is surely scratching his head in heaven over this Asian Pandora’s Box he opened and asking for another drink.


  14. listingstarboard says:

    I love Lighthizer–and think his intense intelligence is sexy lol. Once I was going thru the precheck line at airport and a large group of Chinese rushed up to the front of the line, avoiding the crowded regular security line. The TSA agent made them get in the right line. The TSA agent said–the Chinese will try and cheat every time, but you would never see a Japanese person do that ever. Thought it was interesting.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Vince says:

      From my experience, the Chinese don’t really “cheat” in lines, they simply don’ t know what a line is. They simply mob any door or teller window and try to get the attention of whoever is controlling access.


      • Raised on Teagan says:

        It’s fun when in mainland China to watch the natives exit an escalator. Typically, one will take a step off, stop, look both ways trying to decide which way to go. Others will pile into the back of them and a mess results. At Hong Kong Airport, I once witnessed a 12 person pile up at the end of s moving sidewalk. Lol


      • GB Bari says:

        Many cultures do not observe the practice of forming a queue. I was in Norway and noticed that queuing only occurred mainly in the airport where many cultures mingled at ticket and other counters.


  15. M Droy says:

    Tough Trade deal??
    Listen Trump has just started out and out war with China. He needs as much of Asia as he can get to stay neutral. Japan is his best chance in the region (it controls a lot of production in the region, not just in Japan).
    Trump is going to go all the way to keep Japan on board.
    This is not Europe where however badly/roughly Trump treats them, they will always end up on the US side. This is a big big marginal.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Doppler says:

    So President Trump and Melania have back-to-back state dinners with the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England. This would be great if some slice of our MSM would give these events the “presidential” coverage they deserve.

    As to “go-alongs,” I like the hint that Abe and Trump will announce some bi-lateral deal, but in England, the go-along revealed so far is, please include Nigel Farage as part of our party at the palace. This is in your face to lame-duck PM May and her formerly ruling Conservatives. Perhaps it would be appropriate if the declassification while he’s in Japan sparks arrests of rogue British spies in England.

    As I recall, Great Britain’s peculiar constitution divides government between efficiency and dignity, the monarch mainly responsible for the latter. If the “ever-efficient” May Government condoned British spies interfering in US elections, then this would be a great affront to British dignity. Like the Three Stooges showing up as Buckingham Palace guards.

    Denouement: The Queen clocks Moe with her handbag. Meep, meep, meep . . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  17. ristvan says:

    A trade deal with Japan should be doable, although complicated because comprised of only a few big and many small pieces. Other than autos ($10b), heavy construction machinery (Komatsu, $1b), and semiconductor manufacturing equipment (Nikon lithography, $1b) there are many smaller but no large other trade deficit categories in the net 2018 $68b deficit. In autos, Toyota already has 3 US engine and 3 US assembly plants, Nissan has 4, Honda has 3, and Subaru has 1.

    Possibly open Japanese pharmaceuticals to more US (eliminate non tariff barrier requiring human trials on Japanese before approval is ludicrous), and maybe more open in ag (melons, other fruits and vegetables, beef). Lighthizer probably has a long detailed list of ‘little things’.

    Liked by 4 people

    • tonyE says:

      Actually, American Honda has FIVE auto plants and FOUR parts & components plants in the US. Plus the Honda Jet, the lawn mowers… https://hondainamerica.com/manufacturing/

      Then there are the plants in Canada ( Ontario ) and Mexico ( Jalisco, Celaya ).

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know a little about medical research and I can tell you that human drug trials on Japanese is not at all ludicrous. There are many drugs that work for some races and not others. One example that comes to mind is blood pressure drugs for blacks vs. whites; the affect of alcohol on American Indians vs. whites is a second.
      I think you’re spot on with the ag stuff though.


    • We might add Machine Tools and Automation (Fanuc, etc.).


    • Beigun says:

      The black hole of doing business in Japan is the Trading Companies. They have a hand in everything from soup to nuts. No value added except “culture” since they built Japan (Zaibatsu) after the Black Ships of Perry arrived. The idea came from the Dutch East Indies Trading Company based in Nagasaki (Mitsubishi) when Japan was closed for 200 years. Monopolies at heart with price fixing for all. But that only works if you control imports, i.e., a melon still costs $20 in most of Japan. Thus, go to most stores and see the American premium at play….30% more cost than the price in the US. Trading companies controlled imports, so Japanese companies fixed prices high, very high. One hell of a comparative advantage. Unless the anachronistic Trading Companies are taken down a few notches, any deal with Japan is mainly show only for a few sectors.


  18. Ghost says:

    Observations from a smaller limb.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has signaled what Japan wants most in any trade deal. President Donald J Trump has signaled he will get it, If further negotiations are successful.

    Japan wants access to the markets in India. Only 1.3% of all exports from Japan go to India. This is one of the potentially largest markets for Japan. The post China , India pivot. Inclusion in a tri-lateral trade deal instead of a bilateral deal with Moudi. If he can get his country moving in the right direction. India trade laws are a mess so lots of work to do there.


    Liked by 4 people

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