By Ivan Couronne
FAYETTEVILLE”•Donald Trump embarked Tuesday on the second leg of an unorthodox “victory tour,” promising tough policies to put the US economy first and boasting of securing a $50-billion Japanese investment to create 50,000 jobs.
The US president-elect provided no details on the jobs or investment, which he spent all day trumpeting after talks with Japanese telecoms billionaire Masayoshi Son at Trump Tower in New York.
“Great guy of Japan. He’s pledged that he’s going to put $50 billion into the United States because of our victory,” Trump told a crowd of several thousand in Fayetteville, North Carolina of Son.
“Fifty thousand jobs he’s going to be investing in.”
The Japanese magnate told reporters at Trump Tower that his telecoms company would be investing in startup companies in America.
“I just came to celebrate his new job,” said Son.
The tycoon brandished a piece of paper that indicated SoftBank and Foxconn, the Taiwanese technology giant, “commit to invest $50bn + $7bn in US, generate 50k + 50k new jobs in US in next four years.”
Taiwan’s tech giant Foxconn confirmed Wednesday it is in “preliminary discussions” over a new US investment after Trump announced the $50-billion deal with Japan’s SoftBank that would also involve the firm.
Foxconn confirmed in a statement it is “in preliminary discussions regarding a potential investment” that would expand its current US operations, although the scope has not been determined.
“We will announce the details of any plans following the completion of direct discussions between our leadership and the relevant US officials. Those plans would be made based on mutually-agreed terms,” the statement said.
Shares in the company ended 0.97 percent higher in Taipei Wednesday at Tw$83.1 ($0.3).
Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics maker and assembles products for international brands such as Apple and Sony. It employs about one million workers at its factories across China.
It also has a plant in Virginia which employs over 400 people, as well as other operations in more than 10 countries including Vietnam, Brazil and Mexico.
Shares in Tokyo-listed SoftBank ended up 6.19 percent after Trump’s announcement, which he made while wrapping an arm around Son.
Trump got into hot water last week by taking a protocol-busting telephone call from the president of Taiwan and is under increasing fire in the media for conflicts of interest between his vast business empire and taking top office.
He accuses China of stealing American jobs by sucking away manufacturing plants and pledges to lower corporate tax rates to 15 percent and threatens “consequences” on American firms that fire workers and leave the country.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Son said the money will be coming from a $100-billion investment fund that he is setting up with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and other potential partners.
The incoming Republican president, whose shock victory stunned the world, also used his Fayetteville rally to boast of his intervention last week to save hundreds of manufacturing jobs from leaving Indiana for Mexico.
“We’re going to defend American jobs,” he said, repeating a key campaign promise. “We have to look at it almost as a war.