April 18, 2018 / 7:49 PM / a year ago

Trump says hopeful U.S. will trim trade deficit with Japan soon

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands as they hold a joint press conference at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - President Donald Trump struck a hopeful note about U.S. trade with Japan on Wednesday at a lunch with the Asian nation’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, saying he thought the United States would soon be able to trim its trade deficit with the country.

“We have a very big deficit and we’re going to weed that down, hopefully get our balance at some point in the not-too-distant future,” Trump said at a photo opportunity before the meal, which he said would focus on trade. Trump was flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and the White House’s economic director Larry Kudlow.

“We will I believe at the end of a very short period of time be able to do certain things. I know they’re ordering large numbers of airplanes ... in the tens of billions of dollars.”

Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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