The Biden administration hopes to make deeper inroads in Southeast Asia but lags far behind China, which has already built up major trade ties, as well as roads and a high-speed rail.
What it means for the U.S. to be on the sidelines of another major trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which 15 countries agreed to Sunday.
The U.S. market wiped out its 2018 gains on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index sank sharply on the open but leveled off, regaining some lost ground.
The two leaders met for dinner at Trump Tower, where they discussed trade and military ties. The meeting comes as the U.S. considers imposing hefty import tariffs on foreign-made automobiles.