InterContinental New York Barclay
New York, New York
12:44 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. We have some of our great farmers and ranchers and businesspeople in the room, and likewise Japan. And we have tremendous representatives — some of the biggest people anywhere in the world — what we’re going and the agreement that we just signed. And it’s an honor to have you with us. I thought you could join us for this meeting.
We’ll be talking about certain elements of business and trade, and it would be good to have you with us because you’ll give us some very good ideas.
We’re working on phase two already with Japan. I just want to thank Prime Minister Abe and all of your representatives for working so nicely. It’s a tremendous thing that just took place. And they won’t report it today; it gets lost with other fake news. But it’s still big. When you get back to your areas, you’re going to report it. That’s going to be the front-page news. That really is the real news.
So it’s a tremendous trade deal. It’s a very big trade deal. I want to thank Bob Lighthizer. I want to thank your counterpart. Congratulations. Great job. And took a lot of work to get it done for this particular week. This was a very important week to all of us.
But most importantly — and if you folks have anything to say — you’re the biggest human beings I’ve ever seen with the cowboys hats. (Laughter.) If you have anything to say, I would love to have your ideas.
Before I do that, I’d like to just introduce Prime Minister Abe, who’s been my friend, who has worked so well with us in so many ways. They’re spending a tremendous amount of money in our country also, building automobile factories, automobile plants.
Many of the great Japanese companies, at my request, are now building their plants in the United States, in Detroit, and very, very many other places. We’re all over Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina. We have many plants going up right now — not all from Japan, by the way, but many, many plants. Big ones going up in South Carolina, Florida. It’s been really amazing what’s happened. For years, we didn’t have an auto plant being built, and now we have many of them being built. So, it’s been terrific.
Mr. Prime Minister, perhaps you’d like to say a few things, but I want to — I really appreciate everything you’ve done. It’s really nice.
PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) Once again, I would like to share with you all my enthusiasm about the fact that, together, with President Trump, I could sign the Japan-U.S. statement, marking the final agreement of the Japan-U.S. trade negotiations that we have had so far.
As a matter of fact, in terms of the GDP, the United States is the world’s largest, number one economy, and Japan is the third-largest economy. And by having this first- and third-largest economies coming to the table and announcing this new agreement means that we will be able to have the very wonderful, positive impact on the global economy as a whole. So I do think that the newly agreed agreement will be something that we have to be proud of as a wonderful achievement.
So, since our last meeting on the margins of G20 Osaka Summit, back in June, within the period of the last three months, we have additional eight investment projects in the United States. And I’m very happy to update you about the new status of the Japanese investment. And also, over the last 12 months, we have a total of 31 investment projects in the United States.
And I do think that the achievements that we just announced will bring benefit, of course, to your people — American stakeholders, as well as American farmers and others. But also, this will bring benefit to Japanese farmers, Japanese investor representatives, workers, as well as consumers. So I do think that this agreement will bring benefits to both sides.
So, in this plenary session, I look forward to having a discussion with Mr. President on the current situation surrounding the Middle East and how we can work together to mitigate the tension. And also, I would like to cover other international challenges. And, of course, we would love to discuss the issue of North Korea.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Very good. We’ll do that.
You folks, I know you’re very happy, but do you have any suggestions for the future as far as your industry and your whole way of life go? Because you’ve — we’ve taken in a lot of purchases. A lot of money is coming your way. What other suggestions would you have? Would you have anything, while we’re all together?
MR. SMITH: Mr. President —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes.
MR. SMITH: — as the President-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association — otherwise, the big guy in a cowboy hat —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right. That’s right.
MR. SMITH: — thank you so much for bringing this agreement to the table and bringing us what you said: a fair and reciprocal trade agreement. What do we want? That is all that we ever want. We asked for a level playing field, and you delivered that to us, and we thank you for that. And it’s a great day too for, we think, for the Japanese people. This will enable them to buy more American beef, more American agricultural products. It offsets —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And much better beef. Much better beef. (Laughter.) Not even a contest.
MR. SMITH: And we are — and American agriculture, here’s one industry that can help offset that trade deficit.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.
MR. SMITH: And so this gives us that opportunity, it gives them that opportunity. They have been our largest export partner to date, even with higher tariffs and an uneven playing field. Today, you bring us that playing field we asked for.
In our world, in agriculture, making a commitment to somebody and living up to it is (inaudible). And you brought us that despite what sometimes the press wants to say about it. Thank you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. Well, I’m glad you said that about the press. It’s true. (Laughter.)
You know, China is starting very big purchases also. I don’t know if you know that.
MR. SMITH: Yes. Very much so.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: But you see that China is back in the market. They’re starting big purchases of ag. Our farmers are very happy. Our ranchers are very happy. But that’s starting — including beef and including pork.
MR. SMITH: Absolutely.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: In particular, pork — they’re buying vast amounts. So, China has started that, and they wanted to let me know, and they have let me know a number of times. But more importantly, I heard from our farmers and ranchers that they’re seeing tremendous orders coming in from China. So that’s very good.
Anybody else have a question?
MR. DUVALL: Mr. President, Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah. Sure.
MR. DUVALL: We just want to say thank you so much. We want to thank the Japanese people and the delegations for leveling this playing field. And what we need in the future is more agreements like this all around the world.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.
MR. DUVALL: And what we need is trade, and that’s what makes a rural America grow. But I want to also say to you that the farmers and ranchers of this country appreciate you standing up for us and standing up for the American people, and to continue to show your support for rural America. We appreciate it, and we look forward to continue work with you on that.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you. And you are doing a fantastic job representing the folks. And I will say this: The American farmer and rancher has been targeted by China, and they never once came to me and they said, “Sir, please make a deal. Just make any deal; get us back.” They never did. But I went to you, and I said, “How much money have you lost over the last two years?” And it was $12 million through Sonny, as you know. Sonny said — Secretary of Agriculture — he said, “Sir, last year was 12 years — $12 billion. And this year, it’s $16 billion.” And they’re paying us many, many, many billions of dollars in tariffs. And they’re eating it because they’ve devalued their currency. They’re pouring money in. They’ve really been eating the tariffs.
And we’ve took it — we’ve taken it out of those tariffs and we gave the farmers $12 billion for two years ago. And for last year, we gave $16 billion, divided up among the farmers. So, they’re even. I mean, I wanted to know, what was the number. That was the number. And we had, you know, tens of billions of dollars left over. Because it will be well over $100 billion pretty soon that we will have taken into our Treasury.
So out of the big numbers, we took back — we paid to the farmer. I don’t think there’s any other President ever in history that would’ve even thought of that. And the reason I did it is because you’ve been so loyal. Nobody says, “Oh, you’ve got to make a quick deal.” This doesn’t go quick, to win it. Now, China has got a lot of difficultly. They lost 3 million jobs. Their supply chains are broken up. And they want to make a deal, and we want to make a deal, and I think there’s a good chance we’ll make a deal.
But the American farmer and rancher, like you, are great patriots. You never came to me. Others come, “Oh, please, could you make a crummy deal? Just make any deal. We don’t care.” Farmers said, “Take your time. We’re suffering.” But I took the suffering away, in all fairness. But if I didn’t do that, you’d still be with me because you’re great patriots. So I want you to tell them that.
But we’re getting closer and closer. But in the meantime, with Japan, it’s been a great day. Thank you. Thank you.
MR. MARSHALL: Mr. President, Roger Marshall from Kansas, representing one of the largest agriculture-producing states in the country. This deal is huge for Kansas agriculture producers.
Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your business. We look forward to more opportunities to work with you.
The next thing that we need to work on is the USMCA agreement.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.
MR. MARSHALL: You asked us, “What’s next?” That’s what’s on top of our mind right now.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t know if Nancy Pelosi is going to have any time to sign it. That’s the only problem. (Laughter.)
We have USMCA. That’s a great point, Roger. And I don’t think Nancy Pelosi will have time. She’s wasting her time on a — you know, let’s use a word that they used to use a lot: a “manufactured crisis.” Remember when they came up with the word nobody ever heard of? And then every media group in the country used the same word that same day. Nobody ever heard of the word, in relation to what they were talking about. They said it was a “manufactured crisis.” Okay?
Well, they came up with a manufactured crisis, Roger. I don’t know whether or not they’re going to have time to do any deals. I don’t think they can do any deals.
You know, we were working on guns — gun safety. They don’t even talk — all they’re talking about is nonsense.
And we released something today that was fantastic. And, you know, you look at that — it was — it’s all fake stuff that the media makes up with the Democrats, which are their partners. The Democrats and the media are one in the same. They’re partners. So I want to thank you.
But I just don’t know. You know, [US]MCA — you could tell me, Bob Lighthizer: Are they going to get to take a vote? All they have to do is — the agreement is signed. It’s approved by Canada. It’s approved by Mexico. It’s a great trade deal — the greatest we’ve ever had. NAFTA was a horrible trade deal. It replaces NAFTA. We terminate NAFTA, and this takes over.
It’s phenomenal for farmers, it’s good for manufacturers, it’s good for everybody. Even the unions want it because they’ve always hated NAFTA. The unions want it. I don’t know that they’re ever going to get to a vote because they’re all fighting. The Democrats are all fighting with themselves. So, we’ll see. If it happens, it happens. Otherwise, when we take over the House next year, we’ll do it our way. And we’ll get it. We’ll make it even better.
Bob Lighthizer, do you have a comment on that — USMCA?
AMBASSADOR LIGHTHIZER: Well, I think that it will come up for a vote. When it comes up for a vote, I’m confident that it will pass. It’s 1.4 trillion dollars’ worth of trade and literally millions of American jobs.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: One of the biggest trade deals ever made. It’s a fantastic deal for our country. And, you know, it’s possible they won’t vote. I mean, I know these people much better than you do.
Go ahead. Yeah.
PARTICIPANT: The U.S. wheat —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: How tall is the man next to you? How tall are you?
MR. PADGET: Six-eight, sir. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And you weigh — I won’t ask you the weight, but you’re in good shape.
MR. PADGET: Three hundred.
THE PRESIDENT: You look like an ex-football superstar. Keep it up. (Laughter.) You eat a lot of beef, I assume. Right? (Laughter.)
MR. PADGET: Yes, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You know, you should use him in an ad. (Laughter.)
All right, go ahead.
PARTICIPANT: U.S. wheat has dealt with China for — I mean with, I’m sorry, Japan for 70 years now. So 50 percent of the wheat that goes to Japan comes from the United States. So this is a tremendous trade deal for the U.S. wheat.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s great. Yeah. This is a great deal. This is a great day. They won’t report it. You won’t see any articles, but we — at least we know. But locally, you’re going to get great — you know, because locally, the press — you know, people don’t understand this, but locally, the press treats us very well. Nationwide, just ridiculous. They’re fake. But we have gotten — so when you go back to your local states, you’re going to get tremendous press on this because this is what they’ve wanted. They’ve wanted this really for a long time.
And I think Kansas is doing pretty well. Do you like this, man?
PARTICIPANT: Yes, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Here’s another man from Kansas, right? (Laughter.) How’s he doing? Do they love him in Kansas?
MR. MARSHALL: Next to you, sir, he is the popular person in Kansas. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: He knows what to say. Hey, I like him. I like him. Anyway, anybody else have anything to say? Please.
MR. HARRINGTON: Mr. President, I’m Dave Harrington. I’m President of the National Pork Producers Council. I’ve never spent many days in New York, but this is the greatest day I’ve ever spent in New York.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Wow.
MR. HARRINGTON: Thank you and thank Prime Minister Abe for this agreement. And it gives so much opportunity to our 60,000 pork producers across this great country.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s great.
MR. HARRINGTON: And I can’t thank you for getting up and working hard every day.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And how are you doing with China? Because they’re coming in big. Tell me: How is pork doing with China?
MR. HARRINGTON: It’s just starting to turn around. We’re starting —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Are you seeing — are you seeing the big movement now?
MR. HARRINGTON: It’s starting to move right now.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: They’re going to need a lot.
MR. HARRINGTON: They’re going to need a lot. They’ve got some issues over there with African swine fever. And we’re standing ready to help them out.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So they are starting to come in and you can see that happening very big. How will that compare to Japan, in terms of — ultimately, where do you see China versus Japan in terms of buys?
MR. HARRINGTON: Well, Japan has always been our largest value market, one of our greatest customers. It’s hard to say, Mr. President. But I think that, because of the disease they have over there today, they’re going to need — they’re short in supply of pork. So I think there’s great opportunity.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, China is going to buy more pork than they’ve ever bought by far. I mean, they told me the numbers are going to be incredible. And they’re coming to you.
MR. HARRINGTON: And we’re going to help them out.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, look, they want to make a deal. They’re trying to be nice. I was nice to them. You know, they had their — as you know, their 70th anniversary. And it was very important to them. Did you know? Their 70th. And it was October 1st; that’s when the tariffs get lifted. And they called and they said, “Could you possibly make it another day?” And we delayed it two weeks. So we did them a favor. But they’re doing us a favor. But they’re buying a lot of agricultural product and, in particular, where you are. Okay?
MR. HARRINGTON: Yes, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. That was a very nice statement. Anybody else? You guys all right? Yes. Please.
MR. SUYDAM: My name is Ryck Suydam. I’m a 12th-generation farmer from Somerset County, New Jersey. A lot of these folks here represent big ag. I’m a small ag. I’m a small farm — been there for 300 years. But all of this helps raise agricul- — it’s going to help me —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.
MR. SUYDAM: — and a lot of small farmers all across this country. So we had to get the first one done. Thank you to Japan. And next, we need the USMCA, and then China.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.
MR. SUYDAM: So big ag — good. Small ag — good, too.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And we signed Korea, remember. You know, we did a big deal with South Korea. It’s a great trade deal. It’s already done. And it’s in action. And it’s had a very, very positive impact. It’s been very positive for us. And that was a great deal that we got done relatively quickly. But nobody talks about that one, you know? By normal standards, a big deal.
But Japan is going to be special. And this is my special friend. Thank you. Thank you all very much. Thank you for being here. (Applause.)
Thank you very much, everybody.
1:02 P.M. EDT