Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday U.S. President Donald Trump shared his view at last week’s summit that Japan’s monetary policy was not currency manipulation but to end deflation.
Abe’s comments about the Feb. 10 summit suggest Trump may be softening his criticism that Japan was manipulating its currency to gain a trade advantage.
“I think Trump shared the view that our monetary policy is not for currency manipulation but for ending deflation,” Abe said in the upper house of parliament.
Abe also said he explained how Japanese automakers with factories in the United States contributed to job creation in the world’s largest economy. Trump did not make any demands for Japan to further open its economy to imports, Abe added.
Trump has questioned the small number of U.S. auto exports to Japan, raising concerns he could pursue protectionist trade policies to lower the U.S. trade deficit.
Trump won the presidency with promises to put America first by renegotiating bilateral trade agreements to bring jobs back to the United States, which has raised concerns that global trade could suffer as a result.
However, when Abe visited the United States last week, his summit meeting with Trump proceeded in a fairly cooperative manner.
Not only did Abe avoid criticism of his economic policies, he also held a joint press conference with Trump in response to a sudden missile launch from North Korea, which demonstrated the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance.