At Dinner with Business CEOs, Donald Trump Is Resolute on Trade

Trump PepsiCo's departing CEO Indra Nooyi, center, stands as she introduces herself during a dinner meeting with President Donald Trump, right, first lady Melania Trump, left, and other business leaders, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

President Donald Trump hosted a dinner with business CEOs on Tuesday, boasting of all the great economic news for the country.

“We’re taking our economy to incredible new heights,” he said as the group sat down at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

After highlighting the immense economic growth as a result of his tax and regulation cuts, Trump mentioned his commitment to his “powerful trade policies.”

“Some of you probably love them and a couple of you probably don’t because you’re on the wrong side of the border,” Trump said. “But if you’re from this country, you’re loving what’s happening.”

Trump acknowledged the ongoing fight on trade was tough, noting that he felt bad for Chinese President Xi after the stock market in China fell 27 percent.

“We want them to do well but we want them to treat us fairly, they have not treated us fairly for many decades,” Trump said.

He placed the blame squarely on past presidents, predicting success at the bargaining table.

“I take responsibility for my time, and I couldn’t let that happen,” Trump said.

Trump acknowledged that all of the CEOs probably did business in China so they knew about the massive trade deficits.

“We can’t do that, so it’s going to be a lot different,” he said. “It’s all working out.”

Trump said he was proud of the massive 4.1 percent GDP growth, predicting that it would go higher once his trade deals were completed.

“I think we’re going to be very shortly in the fives … once we get trade deals that are rational and sane and good for our country.” Trump said.

The president met with over a dozen CEOs including Boeing, Mastercard, FedEx, and Fiat Chrysler, to discuss the economy.

First Lady Melania Trump received a standing ovation after Trump introduced her, praising her for what she had accomplished.

“She has been so caring, so loving, so good to people,” he said.

Both the president and the first lady thanked the CEOs for their assistance in helping the country’s economy improve.

Trump also singled out Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi for praise as one of the top women CEOs of the country, acknowledging the recent announcement of her decision to step down from the company.

Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, joked that he was “An enemy of the people” as a member of the media, but actually supported Donald Trump.

Jim Koch of Sam Adams Beer attended the dinner, noting that he represented a relatively small business.

“At least I brought the beer,” he joked, holding a pint glass aloft.

The president’s economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, predicted: “four percent growth, sir, as far as the eye can see.”

“Four? Larry!” Trump jokingly chided Kudlow. “We’re gonna do better than four.”

Trump thanked Kudlow for his service and leaving his CNBC show to join the White House.

”We don’t always agree on things. But we’re learning to agree on things,” he said.

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