WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump urged Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to have Japanese automakers produce more vehicles in the United States, according to a readout of their recent meeting provided Saturday by the U.S.
ambassador to Japan.
The two discussed recent public announcements by Japanese automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp.'s decision to invest more in U.S. plants.
"We talked about the need to see more movement in that direction, but I think the president feels very positive that we will see such movement because all the economics support that," said Ambassador William Hagerty.
Trump has prodded Japanese automakers to add more jobs in the United States as the White House threatens to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported vehicles, on the ground of national security.
Trump said Friday that it was possible that the United States and Japan could reach a new bilateral trade deal by the time he visits Tokyo in May, but he and Abe cited areas where they differ on trade.
"We want to ensure that the U.S. has trading terms with Japan that are no less favorable than any other nation," Hagerty said in a phone call with reporters.
He added that Trump is planning to attend the summit of the Group of 20 industrialized nations set to take place in Osaka, Japan, in June.
Separately, Trump was optimistic trade talks with China would be successful, the ambassador said.