Vice President Pence is currently touring Asia for a period of 10 days. Currently, Pence is in Japan where he has publicly stated that both the United States and Japan have launched bilateral talks in the hope for a new bilateral trade deal. This is significant because the United States and Japan are two of the strongest economies in the world, as Japan rates in at number three while the United States rates as number one.
Japan is the second destination on the ten day trip for Vice President Pence, the other countries that are on the docket are Australia and Indonesia. Prior to visiting Japan, Pence visited South Korea where he announced that the United States would not ignore the North’s antagonizing actions. In addition to that, Pence also wanted to discuss trade with the South Koreans.
These initial talks with Asian nations is in response to create and formulate trade deals since the previous mega deal the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) floundered. The reason the TPP failed was because President Trump pulled the United States out of the deal which was critical because all nations needed to sign the deal in order for it to go through. This is best described in what the Associated Press stated which was “The initiation of new talks with Japan is meant, at least in part, to take the place of the Trans-Pacific Partnership”.
Furthermore, Vice President Pence stated that its both his and Trump’s hope that the United States and Japan can get a bilateral trade deal signed. However, Japan is not fully on board with the new idea of a bilateral agreement instead of the previous mega trade deal. Yet, the negotiations are still in their infancies between the two nations. Additionally, it was noted from the Associated Press that Pence has voiced his hopes the United States “to push for greater access to Japan’s markets for U.S. companies, and for more Japanese investment in the U.S”.
These discussions however, are stalled in a way as the Trump administration still has its trade representative position vacant, thus negotiations are unable to advance into the specifics of a potential deal between the United States and Japan. Consequently, the initial pull-out from the TPP by the United States has led to many unintended consequences to the Japanese agricultural sector.