U.S. Vice President Mike Pence referred to the possibility of the United States returning to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal when he met with Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso on Wednesday, a Japanese government source said.

Pence made the remarks as Aso asked him about the recent comments by President Donald Trump that he might consider returning to the TPP, which currently involves 11 countries following the U.S. withdrawal last year, if Washington can renegotiate it with better terms.

Pence and Aso then exchanged views on the strategic importance of the TPP, while agreeing to promote the bilateral high-level economic dialogue that they chair, the source said. Pence also met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier in the day.