WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump will seek quick progress toward a bilateral trade agreement with Japan in place of a broader Asia-Pacific deal he abandoned this week, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits the White House next month, an official in the Trump administration said on Thursday.
"I see Abe's visit being more about finding a follow-through, a replacement for TPP," said the official, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Trump ditched on Monday.
"Given the domestic political capital (Abe's) expended on TPP, there's going to be an effort to work with him on a follow-on," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Trump, who took office last Friday, reiterated on Thursday he would strike numerous bilateral deals, as opposed to multilateral accords like the TPP. He said they would include clauses to allow a 30-day termination notice if the United States was not treated fairly.
The TPP, which took years to negotiate among 12 countries, has often been described as being, at its core, a deal between the United States and Japan, the world's largest and third-largest economies respectively.
Trump called it bad for American jobs, but proponents worry that abandoning the project could further strengthen China's economic hand in the region.
Japanese media have said Abe is expected to meet Trump in Washington on Feb. 10, although no official announcement has been made as to the timing of the trip.