Trade Talk: Week in Review (6-12 February 2017)
On Monday, 13 February, President Donald Trump welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House. President Trump hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Wednesday.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Steven Mnuchin to serve as Secretary of the Treasury on Monday evening. Congress is scheduled to be in recess next week in observance of the Presidents Day holiday.
Mexico – Tillerson to Visit Mexico City. Secretary Tillerson met on Wednesday, 8 February, with Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Videgaray, where the two discussed immigration, security and law enforcement. After the meeting, the State Department announced Secretary Tillerson would soon travel to Mexico City. In a statement to the press, Minister Videgaray said that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had no immediate plans to reschedule his visit to Washington, a trip that was cancelled last month following President Trump’s signature on executive documents that included authorizing construction of a wall along the border of the two countries.
Japan – Trump Affirms Bilateral Relationship. President Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe at the White House on Friday, 10 February, where the two discussed trade and security matters. In a joint press conference with Prime Minister Abe following their Friday meeting, President Trump said of the bilateral relationship:
We will work together to promote our shared interests, of which we have many in the region, including freedom from navigation and of navigation, and defending against the North Korean missile and nuclear threat, both of which I consider a very, very high priority.”
Prime Minister Abe highlighted economic opportunities, including infrastructure development, suggesting Japan’s maglev technology and technical expertise could possibly “contribute to President Trump’s growth strategy.” Prime Minister Abe also noted a “cross-sectoral” dialogue would be held between Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Tarō Asō and Vice President Mike Pence to further deepen bilateral economic relations.
President Trump condemned North Korea’s latest missile launch on Saturday from Florida. The President noted in particular “the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent.”