President-elect Donald Trump met today with the founder and chairman of Alibaba Group,Jack Ma, at Trump Tower today. After their meeting, they held an impromptu press conference in the lobby of the building. "We had a great meeting." Trump said. He described Ma as "a great, great entrepreneur, one of the best in the world,” and added, “He loves this country, and he loves China."
For his part, Ma said that he discussed with Trump how American-made products such as "garments, wine, and fruit" would be sold on the Alibaba sales platform. He also said that they discussed how the U.S. and China might improve their bilateral relations. After the meeting, Alibaba tweeted, "$BABA wants to create US jobs by helping US small businesses and farmers sell to China's 300 million-strong middle class." On-line retailer Alibaba is a rival to Amazon and has excited great interest on Wall Street.
In a meeting last month with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, Trump announced investment promised by Son would create 50,000 jobs. Ma’s meeting with Trump improved Alibaba’s standing on the stock market. Its price rose just over 1.26% at 12:20 p.m. ET. Previously, its price had been on the decline.
Trump has frequently railed against China’s trade and monetary policies while promising to hike tariffs on Chinese goods imported to the U.S. For its part, Alibaba has already expanded its New York City headquarters while prompting participation in its signature Singles' Day sale globally.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.