As Japan races to preserve U.S. trade ties after President Donald Trump withdrew from a Pacific trade pact, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces a dilemma that has plagued Japanese leaders since the 1980s: How to convince his citizens to buy American cars?
Trump singled out Japan for failing to purchase U.S. vehicles when he formally pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement on Monday. Japan is the second-largest economy among the 12 TPP member nations and has been one of its leading advocates.
Abe has given no indication he'd entertain a TPP without the U.S., even as that goal is pushed by Australia. He told the Diet he still hoped to convince Trump of the merits of the agreement — a prospect that no other Asian TPP leader shared in statements on Tuesday.