From: Sebastian Smith
Date: May 25, 2019 at 7:48:47 PM GMT+9
Subject: travel pool report 13
Fuller quotes and details from POTUS address to business executives earlier (with thanks to input from co-pooler Ashley Parker of the WaPost).
Before Trump came in the room, US Ambassador Hagerty had everyone open a small gift — a drinking glass — and urged them to use it after the president’s departure “to step outside and celebrate with a small afterglow, and celebrate the arrival of the president of the United States for the first state visit of the Reiwa era.” (There was a Jack Daniels bar outside)
Trump then praised Hagerty, saying: "you really have strengthened the enduring alliance between the United States and Japan, very special. And the relationship I have with Prime Minister Abe is very special."
"we just walk off the plane and here we are, along with probably 40 of the greatest business leaders in the world"
“The first lady and I are thrilled be with you as we celebrate Japan’s Reiwa era, a very special time… This evening we’re delighted by joined by Ambassador Lighthizer. Where’s Bob? He’s been very busy, negotiating deals and doing a fantastic job.”
"Also in the room tonight are dozens of (inaudible) represenatives from the American and Japanese communities --the greatest businessmen and women in the world. You really have some people that have just been incredible, incredible investors in our country."
He then thanked spouses for being there: "without the spouses it doesn't work. That we will all admit."
"The relationship with Japan and the United States I can say for a fact has never been stronger, never been more powerful, never been closer. This is a very exciting time for commerce between the two countries that we both love."
"You're doing fanatically well. I was looking very closely on the ride over at some of the numbers being produced in Japan and you're doing great"
"As you know the United States and Japan are hard at work negotiating a bilateral trade agreement that will benefit both of our countries"
"Japan has had a substantial advantage for many, many years, but that's OK, maybe that's why you like us so much"
(from now it will be) "a little bit more fair, I think."
"We also have a tremendous relationship on the military and Japan is ordering a great deal of military equipment. We make the best military equipment in the world, the best jets, the best missiles, the best rockets, the best everything, so Japan is doing very large orders and we appreciate that. … It's probably appropriate right now with everything that's going on. The world is changing."
"With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, remove the barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and repricocity in our relationship. we're getting close."
"we hope to have several further announcements soon and some very big ones over the next few months."
“We’re also here, as you know, for a very special occasion, not having to do with trade, we all know about that.”
(about self-driving cars):
“And last month, SoftBank [inaudible] joined Toyota in announcing a $1 billion investment to help Uber develop self-driving cars and technology. Self driving cars are becoming a bigger and bigger thing. It's the future. You say it's the future I'm OK with it (laughter). It seems very strange when you look over and there’s no one behind the car going 60 mph. When you say it, I’m good with it.”
"If you join in seizing the incredible opportunities now before us in terms of investing to the United States, I think you're going to see tremendous return on your investments."
"I think right now we probably have the best relationship with Japan we've ever had."
And with that, I'm signing off for the day.
Sebastian Smith (AFP)