US President Donald Trump has warned business leaders that he would slap a "substantial border tax" on American firms that set up manufacturing bases abroad while offering to "massively" cut down regulations and taxes to encourage companies to produce products domestically.
Ar a breakfast meeting with America's top 12 business leaders in the White House on his first full day in office yesterday, Trump said a "wave" of manufacturing is now headed back to the US and warned the CEOs of consequences if they shift jobs abroad.
There will be advantages to companies that do indeed make their products here. So we've seen it. It's gonna be wave. I've always said by the time you put them in these massive ships or airplanes and fly them I think it's going to be cheaper. A company that wants to fire all of its people in the US and build some factory someplace else and then thinks that that product is going to just flow across the border into the US, that's not going to happen. They're going to have a tax to pay, a substantial border tax, said the new President.
Some people would say that's not free trade, but we don't have free trade now because we're the only one that makes it easy to come into the country. If you look at China, if you look at many other countries many other countries, they can't believe what we do. So we take in things free, and yet, if you wan to take a plant or you want to do something, you want to sell something into China and other countries, it's very, very hard, he said, arguing that massive free-trade agreements have disadvantaged American workers.
Trump told the business leaders, including Michael S Dell of Dell Technologies, Mark Fields of Ford Motor Company, Elon R Musk of SpaceX and Tesla Motors that,
In some cases, it's impossible. They won't even take your product. But when they do take your product, they charge a lot of tax. So I don't call that free trade. What we want is fair trade. We are going to treat countries fairly, but they have to treat us fairly. If they're going to charge tax to our countries -- if, as an example, we sell a car into Japan and they do things to us that make it impossible to sell cars in Japan, and yet, they sell cars into us and they come in like by the hundreds of thousands on the biggest ships I've ever seen, we have to all talk about that. It's not fair, Trump said.
Promising the business leaders that he will not impose any new tax, Trump said,
All you have to do is stay. Don't leave, don't fire your people in the US, we have the greatest people.
He promised that he would cut taxes "massively" and slash regulations by 75 percent or more.
We are going to be cutting taxes massively for both the middle class and for companies, and that's massively. We're trying to get it down to anywhere from 15 to 20 percent. A bigger thing, and that surprised me, is the fact that we're going to be cutting regulation massively. Now, we're going to have regulation and it'll be just as strong and just as good and just as protective of the people as the regulation we have right now, he added.
Trump said the problem with the regulation is that it puts a lot of hurdles for companies and businesses.
When somebody wants to put up a factory, it's going to be expedited. We're are going to take care of the environment, safety and all of the other things we have to take care of, but you're going to get such great service. There will be no country that's going to be faster, better, more fair and at the same time protecting the people of the country, he said.
Vice President Mike Pence was also present at the meeting along with other senior officials.