Apr 12, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Japan ready to welcome U.S. back to TPP, diplomat says

Trump gestures to Abe

Trump and Abe meet at the G20 Summit in Hamburg. Photo: Kyodo News via Getty Images

If President Trump decides to re-enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Japan, the biggest economic player in the deal, would welcome him with open arms, a top Japanese diplomat told Axios on Wednesday, before Trump directed his top advisers to take a fresh look at the deal.

"We would welcome the U.S. anytime back to TPP."
ā€” A Japanese diplomat

The backdrop: Japan views the TPP as its greatest weapon against China's growing influence, and the U.S.'s exit from the deal weakened its clout as a counter-coalition to Beijing.

Timing: Trump's decision to deputize his chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow and his top trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer to reconsider TPP comes right before he is scheduled to host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Mar-a-Lago on April 17th and 18th.

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