We are doing better than anybody in the world, says Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing in New Delhi
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries: A warm welcome, President (Donald) Trump. I’m Mukesh Ambani from Reliance Industries. We are investors in the United States in the energy sector (inaudible) seven billion.

Trump: Yeah. Big one. Yeah.

Ambani: We have over seven billion… 

Trump: Seven billion. Big one.

Ambani: But we also take (inaudible) stock and bring it to India (inaudible) valued added…

Trump: Right, exactly.

Ambani: …and also (inaudible). The other thing is that the United States has been — again, small companies and large companies have been key partners in transforming India’s telecom sector. (Inaudible) last few years, 4G network.

Trump: Right. You’re doing 4G. Are you going to do 5G too?

Ambani: We’re going to do 5G. We’re the only network in the world that doesn’t have…

Trump: Huawei.

Ambani: …a single Chinese component. It doesn’t have it.

Trump: Well, that’s good. Good. Put a bid in. (Laughter)

Ambani: (Inaudible) 5G…

I have to thank you personally for your leadership, not only like what you’ve done in the US but the entire ripple effect on all of us. In India, we could have never imagined the income tax rates have gone down with Prime Minister Modi… 

Trump: They followed us.

Ambani: So all of us in the business community are grateful, and I think that also a (inaudible) process, like (inaudible) new acquisitions and (inaudible) acquisitions in the US...

Trump: Right. Right. They’re getting approved a lot quicker.

ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Niwas Mittal: After aluminum, it is important to speak of steel, Mr. President. My name is Lakshmi Mittal. We met in Davos.

Trump: This one is a big one, right? This is a big — this is a big guy. This is a big player. Go ahead. I know him very well. I’ve seen him on enough covers. I should know him, huh? Go ahead. How’s it going?

Mittal: Thank you, Mr. President. My honor. But since you have — you became the President, you saved the steel industry in the United States. And Section 232 has been the big lesson for the rest of the world on how to support domestic manufacturing. And this is what we expect the other countries to learn: that they should support domestic manufacturing, not made in China. They support domestic manufacturing to dump steel in the world. (Inaudible) over-capacitation.

But I must thank you for what you have done for the steel industry, what you have done for the tax reform, what you have done to reduce regulations. I’ve never seen the extent of ease of doing the business what we experience in the United States anywhere else in the world. So I must congratulate you for creating an ease of business ecosystem.

Trump: Yeah.

Mittal: And that is one thing about your country and is very popular.

Trump: As you know, three years ago, it was just the opposite. It was one of the worst countries to do business in. You couldn’t get approvals. You couldn’t get anything done. You were sued on environmental — you know, for environmental reasons, not because of the environment, just because it was a way of stopping a project that would produce jobs.

And I’m a big believer in the environment and I want to take care of the environment, but they were just using the laws. And we don’t let that happen anymore. But if it’s something that is wrong — you know better than anybody — we stop them from doing it. But you’ve done an incredible job.

And the steel industry was dead in our country. And, you know, we need — there are certain industries you can do without, to be honest with you. There are certain industry — we can name a lot of them. But, steel you need, from a military — and aluminum you need. You got to have the aluminum. But steel you need probably more than anything else. You have to have it.

And the job you’ve done is incredible. Biggest in the world by far. The job you’ve done is incredible.

Mittal: Mr. President, we are going to announce a multi-billion-dollar investment in Alabama state.

Trump: Good. That’s a great place.

Mittal: Are you interested to come and (inaudible) formation?

Trump: Good. Well, you let me know. I’ll be there for the groundbreaking. No, that’s a great — I know you’re investing. I know you’re looking at Alabama, right?

Mittal: Yes.

Trump: I know. I had heard that. That’s great for a very — that’s a big plant and that’s going to be this super-efficient, super-modern. That’s going to be a showcase, I hear.

Mittal: I know that you always know more than I do about my own business. (Laughter)

Trump: Right. No, but people know about — people know about that. That’s a great — that’s a great thing for Alabama and it’s an incredible place to invest.

Mittal: One last question for you. During your last campaign, you had almost a trillion dollars of infrastructure bill. Why did that (inaudible) you can give into this trillion-dollar infrastructure Bill that will (inaudible)?

Trump: Well, you know, we are doing things. One of the things we’re doing, we’re going to be announcing another tax cut in not so long a period of time, largely for middle-income people, because, you know, we gave them a good tax cut but we’re going to give them a fairly substantial cut. And that gives a lot of money to the consumer.

One of the reasons we’re doing well, and other countries are not doing well — China is having a hard time. They’re all really — not too many are doing well. We’re doing better than anybody in the world by far. It’s because our consumer is rich... 
Edited excerpts from the interaction between US President Donald Trump and Indian businessmen in New Delhi on February 25

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