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Trump boasts of $50 bn investment at victory rally

FAYETEVILLE: Donald Trump embarked Tuesday on the second leg of an unorthodox “victory tour,” promising tough policies to put the US economy first and boasting of securing a $50 billion Japanese investment to create 50,000 jobs.

The US president-elect provided no details on the jobs or investment, which he spent all day trumpeting after talks with Japanese telecoms billionaire Masayoshi Son at Trump Tower in New York.

“Great guy of Japan. He’s pledged that he’s going to put $50 billion into the United States because of our victory,” Trump told a crowd of several thousand in Fayetteville, North Carolina of Son.

“Fifty thousand jobs he’s going to be investing in.”

The Japanese magnate told reporters at Trump Tower that his telecoms company would be investing in startup companies in America.

“I just came to celebrate his new job,” said Son.

The tycoon brandished a piece of paper that indicated SoftBank and Foxconn, the Taiwanese technology giant, “commit to invest $50bn + $7bn in US, generate 50k + 50k new jobs in US in next four years.”

Trump got into hot water last week by taking a protocol-busting telephone call from the president of Taiwan and is under increasing fire in the media for conflicts of interest between his vast business empire and taking top office.

He accuses China of stealing American jobs by sucking away manufacturing plants and pledges to lower corporate tax rates to 15 percent and threatens “consequences” on American firms that fire workers and leave the country.

‘Almost as a war’

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Son said the money will be coming from a $100 billion investment fund that he is setting up with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and other potential partners.

The incoming Republican president, whose shock victory stunned the world, also used his Fayetteville rally to boast of his intervention last week to save hundreds of manufacturing jobs from leaving Indiana for Mexico.

“We’re going to defend American jobs,” he said, repeating a key campaign promise. “We have to look at it almost as a war.

“We are going to be good for the world not just good for our country. The script to what we’re doing is not yet written,” he said.

Trump bolstered his populist credentials earlier Tuesday by threatening to cancel a ballooning contract for two new Air Force One jets: one of the most glittering assets of the US presidency that now need updating.

He claimed that the contract had escalated to more than $4 billion, and his team said he was committed to saving taxpayers’ money.

Converting twin 747-8 jumbo jets into state-of-the-art command centers by 2024 was estimated to cost $3 billion when Boeing won the contract in January 2015.

Boeing said simply that it looked forward to delivering “the best planes for the president at the best value for the American taxpayer.”

In Fayetteville, Trump used his second “thank you” rally, following one last week in Ohio, to promise a bolstered US military and an America “strong like we’ve never been before.”

‘Intervention and chaos’

The United States, he said, would strengthen its friendships and “seek out new friendships.”

“Rather than a rigid dogma, we’re guided by the lessons of history and desire to promote stability,” he said.

“This destructive cycle of intervention and chaos must finally, folks, come to an end.”

He introduced retired general James Mattis as his defense secretary, marking the first time that he has appeared side by side with a cabinet pick in public.

The choice of Fayetteville, just a short drive from Fort Bragg, America’s largest military base, was symbolic.

Trump who called the commander nicknamed “Mad Dog” one of the most effective generals in decades, announced the pick in Cincinnati on Thursday, driving the crowd wild in another drastic break with tradition.

“I look forward to being the civilian leader so long as the Congress gives me the waiver and the Senate votes its consent,” said Mattis, sharing the stage with Trump and speaking briefly.

He needs a special waiver to serve as US law bans uniformed military officers from serving as secretary of defense for seven years after leaving active duty.

Some Democrats have raised concerns and have also voiced objections against Trump nominating any other military personnel to his cabinet.

In an unusual break with his campaign rallies, Trump also urged supporters not to boo the media.

“No, no,” he said. “Hopefully they’re going to write the truth.”

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