White House Oval Office Washington D.C. October 16 10:20 A.M. EDT
Well, thank you very much. It's a great honor to have the President of Italy with us. He is a man of great distinction. He's highly respected in this country. And it's nice to have you at the White House. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
We've had a great relationship with Italy for a long time. I don't think it's ever been closer than it is now. We have won a $7.5 billion award from, as you know - I guess it's been pretty big news. And I know that this is against the European Union and World Trade - good ole World Trade. For a long time, they've been taking advantage of the United States. And I know Turkey is going to talk to us about their share of it because they feel they shouldn't have to pay so much.
And if you look at what's going on, Italy is complaining about it. Turkey is com- - everybody is complaining about it. Turkey is complaining about a lot of things, and we're handling Turkey very nicely. But we have many countries complaining about the different awards that we've been winning lately from the courts. And the reason we're winning is we're properly represented.
We're winning, in the case of the European Union, $7.5 billion. And Italy has a percentage of that to pay. And, in the - in other cases, we've won. And we have a lot of money coming into the United States for the first time ever. Tremendous amounts of money in many different forms, including tariffs.
Our farmers now have been taken care of well. China has already started their purchases. There was some misreporting, which does not - frankly, I'm not at all surprised - but there's been some misreporting that China will start purchasing when the deal is signed.
The deal is being papered right now. Bob Lighthizer is with us. Mike Pompeo is with us. And they're going to be joining us for the discussion.
But there have been some reports that China is not buying until the deal is signed. No, China has started buying already from the farmers. It'll be anywhere from $40 [billion] to $50 billion, which is far more than anybody thought or expected. It's a great deal for the farmers. I think the farmers will come out - along with many other industries in the United States - will come out as one of the big beneficiaries of the trade deal with China.
But they have already started purchasing; in fact, they started purchasing three weeks ago. You can see the numbers for yourself. It's great for our country. It's great for - I think it's great for China, too. But it's something that's already taken effect, even though the deal won't be signed probably until I meet with President Xi in Chile, where we have a summit. So that'll be good.
But the World Trade - as you know, we won $7.5 billion, and that is being distributed among various countries in the European Union. Italy is one of those countries. And I know that the President of Italy wants to discuss that, and it's one of the discussions.
And the other thing, of course, is trade and numerous elements of the military, and terrorism, and security. So, we'll be discussing everything.
(Interpreter provides translation.)
And I'm pleased to report that in Syria, Turkey - the border - we only had 28 soldiers, not 50. We thought it was 50. Somebody reported 50. It was actually down to 28. They were removed a while ago. All American soldiers are away from the site.
Syria and Turkey may fight. Syria is friendly with the Kurds. The Kurds are very well protected; plus, they know how to fight. And, by the way, they're no angels, but they were with us. They are no angels. But they are fighting. We are largely out of that area. We're very well set. We have quite a contingent, right nearby, of soldiers and of the finest equipment in the world. I don't think we'll have to use it.
So, Syria is either negotiating with or talking to Turkey. We're also talking to Turkey. We've put massive sanctions on Turkey. Sanctions work, frankly, better than fighting. Certainly when you're down to 28 people, we're not going to be fighting. We didn't want to fight anyway. I don't think there's any reason to, from the United States' standpoint.
Now, as to Syria wanting to take back their land, that's a whole different story. If Syria wants to fight for their land, that's up to Turkey and Syria, as it has been for hundreds of years, they've been fighting. And the Kurds have been fighting for hundreds of years - that whole mess. It's been going along for a long time.
Syria may have some help with Russia, and that's fine. It's a lot of sand. They've got a lot of sand over there. So there's a lot of sand that they can play with.
But we were supposed to be there for 30 days; we stayed for 10 years. And it's time for us to come home. We're not a policing agent, and it's time for us to come home.
But we're working with Turkey. We're working with talking to everybody in the area - whatever we can to do keep it stable or stabilize it as much as possible, knowing that it's possibly never going to be very stable.
And we are - I think we're in a very good position in the Middle East. I think we're very, very strong in the Middle East. Iran is going to hell; their economy is in deep trouble. Their GDP went down 20 percent, which nobody ever even heard of before. Probably 25 percent.
We'll be talking to Iran also. They want very much to talk. The sanctions with Iran - all of the things that we've done, including some tariffs and different things having to do with countries that are dealing with them that we put on - all of the economic sanctions are working very well.
So, Iran will be an interesting case, but we'll see. They want to talk. We'll see whether or not they talk. If they talk, good. And if they don't talk, that's okay, too. But I think we're doing a very good job in the sense of, strategically, we have Syria talking about their land. It's not our land. Turkey has gone on to Syria. And, if Turkey goes into Syria, that's between Turkey and Syria; it's not between Turkey and the United States, like a lot of stupid people would like us to - would like you to believe.
And I watched, last night - a couple of people understood. Actually, a couple of the Democrats - I won't say which ones - but a couple of the more competent Democrats actually understood what I was doing and what the plan is.
But, really, the plan is to get out of endless wars, to bring our soldiers back home, to not be policing agents all over the world. If you look at other countries - Russia, China - they don't have countries to take care of. We have - we're close to 90 countries, in one form or another. We're in 90 countries all over the world, policing and - frankly, many of those countries, they don't respect what we're doing, they don't even like what we're doing, and they don't like us.
So, we're looking all over the world. There's tremendous amounts of money, manpower, lives that we save by doing it much differently. If people aren't respecting what we're going to be doing, that's too bad.
You read where we're sending some troops to Saudi Arabia. That's true. Because we want to help Saudi Arabia. They have been a very good ally. They've agreed to pay for the cost of those troops. They've agreed to pay fully for the cost of everything we're doing over there. That's something you have never heard before, I think, as long as you've been standing out there. I think you - the media has never heard that before.
But Saudi Arabia has graciously agreed to pay for the full cost of everything we're doing for them. We're sending some tremendous missiles over. We're sending some great power over to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is paying for 100 percent of the cost, including the cost of our soldiers. And that negotiation took a very short time - like, maybe, about 35 seconds.
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