As Donald Trump’s rhetoric has put the economic policies of Mexico and China in his cross-hairs, it’s needless to say that a number of other countries are hoping not to wind up in them either.
Not long after Donald Trump’s victory, Japan made it clear that they wanted nothing more than to work with the U.S. Even before his inauguration, President Trump had a meeting with the CEO of Japan’s SoftBank, which announced they’ll be investing $50 billion into our economy, creating 50,000 jobs in the process. SoftBank has business in China – but they didn’t expand there. They want to expand in the U.S.
That’s just one corporation of course, but the attitude of Japan’s government is the same. In fact, Japan’s prime minister is now expected to meet with Trump and roll out a huge economic cooperation initiative to boost growth in both our countries. This comes after Trump has blasted Japan (just as he’s done to China and Mexico) as a currency manipulator and complained about their trade practices (which he’s been doing since the 1980s!)
As the Daily Caller reported: The so-called “Japan-U.S. growth and employment initiative,” which is expected to be presented when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits the White House Feb. 10, will involve $450 billion in market growth through new investments and the creation of 700,000 new jobs, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun.
Japan will reportedly invest in infrastructure development, as well as robotics, artificial intelligence, cyber, space, and defense projects in the U.S.Among the projects included in the initiative are high-speed rail projects, plans for transportation infrastructure upgrades, technology sharing programs, advanced power generation projects, and other high-end programs. Approximately $150 billion of the $450 billion will be spent on infrastructure.
Trump asserts that Japan intentionally restricts American access to Japanese auto markets through trade barriers and manipulates its currency.
“We sell a car into Japan and they do things to us that make it impossible to sell cars in Japan,” Trump told a group of business leaders last Monday.
Japan’s trade surplus with the U.S. was $60 billion in 2016. While 40 percent of all Japanese shipments to the U.S. consisted of cars and auto parts, U.S. auto exports to Japan were limited. American cars made up less than a third of one percent of all passenger cars sold in Japan last year.
The Japanese government rejects Trump’s accusations, asserting that it does not impose tariffs on U.S. auto imports, nor does it utilize any other discriminatory trade barriers.
Whatever their squabbles, it appears Japan is willing to bury them.
While nothing is official so far, it appears these estimates are over the next ten years ($45 billion in investment a year, 70,000 jobs created per year, on average).
Still, not too shabby.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]