February 23, 2013
OUR REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT:
U.S., Japan focus on trade to boost both economies (Don Lee, 2/22/13, Los Angeles Times)
Posted by Orrin Judd at February 23, 2013 7:44 AMObama would like to see Japan join the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and seven other countries in negotiations for an Asia-Pacific free-trade agreement. [...]For Abe, who took office in December for a second time as prime minister, his meetings in Washington were aimed at promoting his own economic program. The Japanese have dubbed his plan "Abenomics" -- an effort to break out of a devastating deflationary period with fiscal and monetary stimulus and other efforts."I am back, and so shall Japan be," Abe said Friday afternoon in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.Abe, 58, who studied political science briefly at USC and delivered his speech in English, said in a news conference afterward that he hoped Japan could decide quickly about entering the talks.Obama welcomed Abe's overall message of strengthening bilateral relations, saying after their private meeting in the Oval Office that they agreed their No. 1 priority had to be "making sure that we are increasing growth and making sure that people have the opportunity to prosper if they're willing to work hard, in both countries."Trade wasn't a top priority in Obama's first term, but in his State of the Union address, he pledged to pursue free-trade talks with both Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.