President Donald Trump skipped his planned attendance at the East Asia Summit on Tuesday in Manila to fly back to Washington ahead of schedule.
Before his departure, Trump said his marathon trip to Asia, which ended with his first visit to the Philippines as president of the United States was a success.
“We have had a tremendously successful trip, tremendous amounts of work was done on trade, not only on the deals and we have had at least 300 billion dollars worth of deals but that will be I think, way triple that number in a fairly short period of time. But I think much more importantly, we explained that the United States is open for trade but we want reciprocal trade. We want fair trade for the United States.”
A White House official says Trump had to leave because the summit meetings were already running late.
In his place, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson represented Trump at the east Asia summit.
The chief of the Philippines national capital region police office, Oscar Albayalde, earlier told ABS-CBN News that potential ASEAN security threat had nothing to do with Trump’s early departure.
He said Trump was in fact originally scheduled to leave Monday.
Trump did not elaborate on the trade deals that he mentioned before departing.
But reports say that trade concerns about Trump’s America First agenda came up throughout his Asia trip, which included stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.