Trade is expected to top the agenda when Vice President Mike Pence holds talks with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso in Tokyo on Tuesday as part of a 10-day Asia tour. Pence is expected to focus on the prospect of a U.S.-Japan free trade agreement (FTA), but Tokyo may not be interested.

"We [the U.S.] are trying to offer them a poor man's TPP with this FTA idea, but I don't think Japan has any interest in pursuing that. They want to stick with ideas and principles that were hammered out in TPP," said King, specifically referring to intellectual property rights as well as market access.

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