InterContinental New York Barclay New York, New York September 25, 12:44 P.M. EDT
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.
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. President -
- as the President-elect of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association - otherwise, the big guy in a cowboy hat -
Right. That's right.
- 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 -
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.
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.
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.
Yes. Very much so.
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.
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.
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