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Japan (and others) fearful of Trump trade policy

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 01:37

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he believed U.S. President Donald Trump understood the value of free trade and that he would keep pitching a multinational trade pact that Trump's administration has vowed to exit. As Ivor Bennett reports, Japan isn't the only one feeling nervous about America's new trade policy.

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Tokyo harbour - the heart of an export driven economy. Nearly 20 percent of Japanese goods end up in America. Too good, Japan says, to do without. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER, SHINZO ABE, SAYING: "I believe we should look to explain how Japanese firms have contributed to the U.S. economy and gain an understanding." But the understanding of America's new president is very different. Within hours of taking office, Donald Trump reiterated his pledge to pull out of the TPP trade pact with Japan and other Pacific neighbours. He says he'll also renegotiate the North American equivalent. No wonder Japan is getting nervous. SOUNDBITE (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, IG, SAYING: "It's difficult to imagine a world where you have American jobs being revived and yet the dollar continuing to rise. So if you get a weakening dollar that spells difficulties for the yen and therefore for Japanese exporters. So we should see quite a few jitters in Tokyo." And not just there. The dollar hit a 6-week low; European stocks their lowest this year. Traders wary that 'America First' puts everyone else second. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKETS ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "Germany and German export-oriented companies need to be very careful because they depend on the world economy. Every trade protectionism and every trade deal which is not for us is against us." Others though may hope for a more special relationship. British Prime Minister Theresa May will be the first foreign leader to meet the new President later this week. Donald Trump already promising a swift deal for the UK.

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Japan (and others) fearful of Trump trade policy

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 01:37