U.S. President Donald Trump left the Philippines on Tuesday without attending an annual East Asia Summit, due to delays in the schedule of the program of meetings.
Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he delivered his prepared remarks during a lunch with the leaders instead.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would attend Tuesday’s summit in his place, a senior White House official said, adding the event was running too late.
The meetings in Manila were approximately 90 minutes behind schedule.
U.S. open for trade, if fair, reciprocal
Trump said on Tuesday he had made clear during his trip to Asia that the United States was open to trading with other countries, but only if conditions were fair for his country.
Trade and concern about possible protectionism under Trump’s “America First” agenda have come up during his regional visit, which has included stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
“We’ve explained that the United States is open for trade but we want reciprocal, we want fair trade for the United States,” he told reporters in Manila during a summit of Asian leaders, where integrating economies and curbing protectionism has been on the agenda.
Trump also said his trip had resulted in at least $300 billion, possibly triple that figure, of deals being agreed. He did not elaborate.
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