Donald Trump might have found one way he thinks the United States has outfoxed China and Japan when it comes to trade deals: the value of the products exchanged between the economies.
[Joel Gehrke| May 29, 2016 |Washington Examiner]
"I'm not angry at China and I'm not angry at Japan," Trump said Sunday at the Rolling Thunder rally in Washington, D.C. "They send us hundreds of thousands — millions of cars. We give them nothing. You look at a trade imbalance: we send them beef, and they don't even want to take the beef. We send them wheat and they send us cars. The numbers are staggering."
That's an unusual statement for Trump, who had been complaining about the trade deficit a few minutes earlier, when he suggested that the American dollars spent buying foreign products were bankrupting the nation. But he made the remark while promising to toughen up international trade agreements and force military allies to pay for U.S. protection.
"I love Japan," Trump said. "We're going to continue to protect Japan, hopefully. But you always have to be prepared to walk, folks."
The United States has had a military presence in Japan since defeating the island nation in the second World War. Over the years, security treaties have been signed that allowed the U.S. military to remain stationed there in order to protect allies from Russia and China and secure freedom of navigation for global commerce sailing through the South China Sea.
But Trump wants Japan to pay for the U.S. protection. "Why aren't they paying 100 percent?" he asked in response to news that they pay for half the cost of the military installations there. "You know what kind of money we're talking about? And then they wonder why this country is poor, because we're a debtor nation."