President Donald Trump, who reportedly unknowingly appointed Steve Bannon to the National Security Council in an executive order, is going to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday at his Mar-a-Lago estate, nicknamed "the Florida White House." Abe will be the second foreign leader to meet with Trump since he took over the reigns as President on January 20, 2017. Joining Abe at the Mar-a-Lago estate will be his wife Akie. The last time Abe met with Trump last November, he gave him a very expensive golf driver. That meeting took place in New York City.

At this meeting the two leaders will discuss, among other things, the bilateral trade agreement.

Mutual support of mutual defense treaty

When Defense Secretary James Mattis travelled to South Korea and Japan for his first official visit as Defense Secretary, he confirmed America's commitment to America's mutual defense treaty with Japan. This affirmation is especially important because of recent aggression by North Korea, as reported by the Pentagon.

America withdraws from TPP

Much to the chagrin of Abe and his government, the Trump Administration pulled the United States out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Although Abe signed a document committing Japan to a free trade agreement with the United States, he has promised to appeal the Trump Administration's withdraw from the TPP.

Abe indicated that he might be supportive of a trade agreement or economic partnership agreement that is free for both the U.S. and Japan.

Despite their profound differences, both Abe and Trump are "committed to deepen the bilateral trade and investment relationship," (ABC News, 2-9-07) between the United States and Japan. Although relations between the two leaders got off to a very bumpy start, it appears that both of them want to make amends and foster prosperous ties in the years to come.

How much America's withdraw from the TPP will affect these ties, remains to be seen, as the new Trump Administration continues to test the temperature of international waters.

Huge automobile trade deficit

According to a recent Bloomberg Report, 1.6 million automobiles were exported to the United States by Japan in 2015. In that same year, only 19,000 American automobiles were exported to Japan.

Japan's Foreign Minister, Hiroshinge Seko, even pointed out that Japan does not apply tariffs to american cars exported to Japan; whereas the United States imposes stiff tariffs on cars imported from Japan. Despite this, the huge trade deficit still exists, and in favor of Japan.

At least one Japanese diplomat who is visiting the United States, Kunihiko Miyake, attributes the trade deficit to the poor quality of American cars. As Miyake put it, "Cost-performance-wise, American cars are not good," (ABC News, 2-9-17).

Pence on LGBTQ discrimination

Meanwhile, Vice-President Mike Pence, talking to ABC News last Sunday, told reporters that President Donald Trump does not support the repeal of legislation aimed at protecting the rights of the LGBTQ Community.

Contrary to past statements that seemed to indicate otherwise, Pence assured ABC News that neither he nor Trump will support any kind of discrimination; that is, against the LGBTQ Community, all other demographics notwithstanding.

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