The nation’s biggest business lobby is sending a delegation to the United States early this year to discuss trade policies with officials of the new U.S. administration of President Donald Trump, according to the head of the group.
“I’m worried about U.S. trade policy,” Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, also known as Keidanren, said in a recent interview with the media. Trump’s protectionist undertones “will not only be a negative for Japan but also for the United States,” he added.
Underlining his “America First” policy, Trump has said his administration will notify other nations of its intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, a U.S.-led free trade deal that Japan, the United States and 10 other Pacific Rim nations signed last year, as soon as he takes office on Jan. 20.
Sakakibara said the delegation will urge the Trump administration to maintain the country’s strong global economic ties, adding he may join the delegation himself.
“While Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to take necessary actions, the business community also needs to take its own action,” he said.
Sakakibara also said he expects the economy to grow this year.
“Signs of economic recovery were already showing in the latter half of 2016,” he said, adding he hopes the country “will shrug off its deflationary mind-set” and break the standstill.