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Donald Trump Warns CEOs Of Huge Border Tax If They Shift Jobs Abroad

US President Donald Trump has warned business leaders that he would slap a "substantial border tax" on American firms that set up manufacturing bases abroad while offering to "massively" cut down regulations and taxes to encourage companies to produce products domestically

Photo Credit : Reuters

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US President Donald Trump has warned business leaders that he would slap a "substantial border tax" on American firms that set up manufacturing bases abroad while offering to "massively" cut down regulations and taxes to encourage companies to produce products domestically.

During a breakfast meeting with America's top 12 business leaders in the White House on his first full day in office yesterday, Trump said a "wave" of manufacturing is now headed back to the US and warned the CEOs of consequences if they shift jobs abroad.

"There will be advantages to companies that do indeed make their products here. So we've seen it. It's gonna be wave. You watch, it's gonna be a wave. I've always said, by the time you put them in these massive ships or airplanes and fly them I think it's gonna be cheaper," Trump said.

"A company that wants to fire all of its people in the US and build some factory someplace else and then thinks that that product is gonna just flow across the border into the US, that's not gonna happen. They're gonna have a tax to pay, a substantial border tax," said the new President.

"Some people would say that's not free trade, but we don't have free trade now because we're the only one that makes it easy to come into the country. If you look at China, if you look at many other countries...many other countries, they can't believe what we do.

"So we take in things free, and yet, if you wanna take a plant or you wanna do something, you wanna sell something into China and other countries, it's very, very hard," he said, arguing that massive free-trade agreements have disadvantaged American workers.

"In some cases, it's impossible. They won't even take your product. But when they do take your product, they charge a lot of tax. So I don't call that free trade. What we want is fair trade, fair trade. We are gonna treat countries fairly, but they have to treat us fairly," Trump said told the business leaders, including Michael S Dell of Dell Technologies, Mark Fields of Ford Motor Company, Elon R Musk of SpaceX and Tesla Motors.

"If they're gonna charge tax to our countries -- if as an example, we sell a car into Japan and they do things to us that make it impossible to sell cars in Japan, and yet, they sell cars into us and they come in like by the hundreds of thousands on the biggest ships I've ever seen, we have to all talk about that. It's not fair, it's not fair," Trump said.

Promising the business leaders that he will not impose any new tax, Trump said: "All you have to do is stay. Don't leave, don't fire your people in the US, we have the greatest people."

He promised that he would cut taxes "massively" and slash regulations by 75 per cent or more.

"What we're doing is we are going to be cutting taxes massively for both the middle class and for companies, and that's massively. We're trying to get it down to anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent, and it's now 35 per cent but it's probably more 38 per cent than it is 35, wouldn't you say? That's a big thing," he said.

"A bigger thing, and that surprised me, is the fact that we're gonna be cutting regulation massively. Now, we're gonna have regulation and it'll be just as strong and just as good and just as protective of the people as the regulation we have right now," he added.

Trump said the problem with the regulation is that it puts a lot of hurdles for companies and businesses.

"When somebody wants to put up a factory, it's gonna be expedited," Trump said.

"You have to go through the process, but it's gonna be expedited and we're gonna take care of the environment, we're gonna take care of safety and all of the other things we have to take care of, but you're gonna get such great service," he said.

"There will be no country that's going to be faster, better, more fair and at the same time protecting the people of the country, whether it's safety or so many other...," he said.

The Vice President Mike Pence was also present at the meeting along with other senior officials.

(PTI)