The U.S. and Japan to make trade announcements in August

The United States and Japan could reach some sort of agreement on the trade front, which could then be announced by August.

That is according to U.S. President Donald Trump, who said this on Monday while on an official visit to Japan. Trump noted that he expects the existing trade gap between the U.S. and Japan would be “straightened out rapidly,” to allow for the said announcements

Trump spoke ahead of a scheduled meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with the U.S. president’s visit coming on the back of simmering trade tensions between the two countries.

Reuters quotes Trump as saying that in terms of trade, they would be “announcing some things,” with the timeline likely to be in August.”

According to the U.S. president, the agreements are likely to be beneficial to both economies as the countries are going to work towards getting “the balance of trade […] straightened out rapidly.”

Data from the Trade Representative in the U.S shows that, in 2018, the United States owed Japan goods and services worth $56.8 billion.

Trump reportedly wasted little time in trying to put the Japanese premier under more pressure. He told Abe on Saturday that Japan has enjoyed an “advantage” in trade for so long. Trump also urged business people in Japan to increase their investment in the United States.

The visit also comes on the back of comments Trump made earlier noting that the earliest he expected any major progress was in July. He was referring to the upcoming upper house parliamentary elections that Abe’s ruling bloc must navigate.

Donald Trump has been received highly in Japan, as he is the first foreign dignitary to visit since the new Emperor Naruhito ascended to power as Japan’s monarch.

Meanwhile, Japan has said that its foreign ownership law that applies to certain companies will be extended to cover firms in its IT and telecoms sector. Foreigners will now have to report to the government when they buy a certain amount of shares in IT and telecoms firms. According to a statement released Monday morning, the new requirement will take effect on August 1, and aims at safeguarding the country’s national security.