President-Elect Donald Trump’s big campaign promise was to create more jobs, especially in the manufacturing space. Thus far, he’s held to that promise, threatening companies who consider moving manufacturing plants out of the country with expensive import taxes. And though his criticism of companies hasn’t always been accurate, his intention is clear – keep jobs in the U.S. Now, Trump is working to not just keep jobs in the country, but to create more as Trump met with Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma. Trump said the meeting was great, and focused on creating 1m American jobs over the next five years. However, Ma’s language doesn’t quite match up with Trump’s. What can we expect to come from this meeting? Is Trump really creating 1m American jobs?
Can Trump Deliver His Promise Of Creating Jobs, With Jack Ma's Help?
On Monday, Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman Jack Ma met with Donald Trump at Trump Tower. The two discussed a plans to create 1 million U.S. jobs over the next five years. However, while Trump says the plans will create new jobs, Ma’s language focuses more on supporting small businesses.Ma was quoted as saying:
“We're focused on small business, We specifically talked about … supporting 1 million small businesses, especially in the Midwest of America. Small businesses on the platform selling products — agriculture products and America services — to China and Asia, because we're pretty big in Asia.”
So where will these jobs come from?
Jack Ma made headlines last month after visiting President Donald Trump and announcing that he will help create a… https://t.co/CPefauL916
— TGWTCT (@tgwtct) March 2, 2017
It’s not exactly clear.
Ma talks about job growth through letting small businesses sell to China through the Alibaba platform. But will that really create jobs?
“Alibaba will create 1 million U.S. jobs by enabling 1 million American small businesses and farmers to sell American goods to China and Asian consumers on the Alibaba platform,” the company said in a statement.
The problem there is that 1 million jobs can’t be created by selling existing goods from existing small businesses without significant increases in infrastructure spending by the small businesses themselves, who by definition do not have the capital to expand to that kind of operation. While the meeting was a solid beginning for righting the U.S. trade imbalance with China, the plan to create more jobs is by no means solid. It’s actually pretty vague.
— Alibaba Group (@AlibabaGroup) January 9, 2017
That being said, the meeting is great news for the U.S. as it shows Trump is genuinely pursuing his promise to create more jobs. And while the current plan stemming from the meeting is vague, there is promise here. Jobs can absolutely come from this, especially if The Donald offers companies incentives to increase manufacturing and hire Americans to pursue trade with Alibaba and China.
NBC News has more info on Trump and Ma's meeting:
For investors, shares of Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd. (BABA) ticked up on the news, and should continue to rise based on positive endorsement from the incoming president.
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