US VP Pence arrives in Japan to focus on trade

US VP Pence arrives in Japan to focus on trade

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that Washington will review and reform the free trade agreement with South Korea, citing too many barriers to U.S. businesses.

Pence reassured Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the USA considers its alliance with Japan to be a cornerstone of security in the region. Pence arrived in Japan.

He said that under President Donald Trump, the US will stand up to its enemies with its allies.

Pence said he considers the first 100 days a success, pointing to the administration's efforts to expand jobs and its ability to get Justice Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Abe said Japan likewise hopes for peaceful dialogue with Pyongyang, "but at the same time, dialogue for the sake of dialogue is valueless".

Bishop said that China has a "unique and specific role to play in pressuring North Korea to cease its illegal behavior".

The American vice president is on a 10-day trip to Asia that has been dominated by the North Korea issue. The trip so far has been dominated by US and allies' concerns about North Korea's nuclear and missile development efforts.

Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged Wednesday that some of the Trump administration's promises have not yet come to fruition, but he is confident that efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will be fruitful. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, meets with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia Thursday, April 20, 2017.

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After initially declining a meeting between Rex Tillerson and Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin agreed to it at the last minute. Moscow hasn't seen "a single fact, or even a hint at facts" confirming that the Russians interfered, he said.

Pence's two main goals are to spur increased USA access to Japanese markets and strengthen Japanese foreign investment, they said.

The US trade deficit with South Korea in 2016 amounted to $27.6 billion. With no U.S. Trade Representative yet in office and other key negotiator positions still unfilled, such nitty-gritty discussions will have to come later.

Japan and the USA have outlined a path forward for economic talks between the countries.

In talks with Aso, Pence was expected "to push for greater access to Japan's markets for U.S. companies, and for more Japanese investment in the U.S.", Anthony says.

The loss of US participation in the TPP was a blow to Japan following strenuous negotiations, especially over opening access wider to its long-protected farm sector. He said that the dialogue could lead to formal talks on a U.S. -Japan trade agreement, but that he would leave that decision to the future.

"For now, both sides seem eager to downplay potential for conflict, with Aso repeatedly saying that trade friction has been vanquished in a 'new era of cooperation'".

The U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement Wednesday that the USS Carl Vinson strike group is heading to the western Pacific "as a prudent measure".

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