Sunday, October 20, 2019

U.S. Issues Statement on the Passing of President Robert Mugabe



Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
September 6, 2019

We extend our condolences to those mourning the loss of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Robert Mugabe helped liberate Zimbabwe, but his human rights abuses and gross economic mismanagement impoverished millions and betrayed his people’s hopes for their nation. We continue to support the aspirations of the Zimbabwean people for a better, more prosperous future.

AMDIE / WINVESTNET Host 1st U.S. Africa Investment Meeting (AIM) Roadshow in Washington, DC


 
Mr. Reda Rami, Chairman & Founder of WINVESTNET (left) and H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, AU Permanent Representative to the U.S. (right), presenting the Africa Investment Award to AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry H.E. Albert Muchanga
Photo: Afrikan Post


October 1, 2019
World Trade Center, Ronald Reagan Building – Washington, DC
By Frederick Nnoma-Addison, Event Moderator

The African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, H.E. Albert Muchanga has stated that the July 7 launch of the historic African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has created an exceptionally large market that offers enhanced opportunities for joint ventures with foreign companies looking for reliable partners in Africa. He encouraged investors to therefore move in, now that the market is operational, “to capitalize on first-mover advantages.”

Commissioner Muchanga made these remarks during his keynote address at the Africa Investment Meeting Roadshow held at the World Trade Center, Ronald Reagan Building, in Washington, DC on Tuesday October 1, 2019. He explained that the Continental Free Trade Area is favorable to foreign investors as follows. “Now that AfCFTA is operational, companies that are able to produce to scale will be incentivized to start investing in Africa, and that will give them the capacity to be exporting to larger markets because they invested a lot of money. So, by aggregating, we are also promoting a large-scale investment, which can now produce at a larger scale, satisfy Africa, and export products to the rest of the world.” Commissioner Muchanga said.

Event Photo Album by George Bright -Afrikan Post

He also dispelled some international misperceptions and reiterated one of the agreement’s key merits. “The African Continental Free Trade Area is not closing Africa from the rest of the world – we are opening it to the rest of the world by creating the necessary capacity.” Before his keynote address, H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao introduced Commissioner Muchanga to the attendees and praised him for his exceptional vision and execution of the signature African Union initiative.

African nations launched the operational phase of the landmark free trade accord at the African Union Summit in Niamey, Niger on July 7, creating what leaders hope will be the world’s largest free trade area.

African Investment Meeting (AIM) Road Show is a signature event of WINVESTNET, an investment platform established in 1998, dedicated to Africa’s infrastructure & strategic projects In recent years, the Roadshow has stopped in Dakar, Beijing, Shanghai, and Casablanca, and has sourced and presented hundreds of viable projects to investors for funding. Mr. Reda Rami Chairman & Founder of WINVESTNET presented information about his organization and the African Investment Marketplace – the vehicle through which WINVESTNET presents its viable and bankable projects to its pool of investors.

The Washington Roadshow was organized in partnership with AMDIE Morocco’s Investment and Trade Agency in charge of promoting Morocco as a foreign investment destination, supporting Moroccan exporters and assisting Moroccan companies investing abroad.

A total of sixteen countries participated in the Washington, DC event with the goal of exploring funding opportunities for government infrastructure projects or identifying viable projects requiring funding. They are: Algeria, Benin, Chad, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Rwanda, Zambia, Switzerland, and the United States.
The Embassy of Zambia screened a short film to highlight the investment opportunities the country offers and Moroccan officials Ms. Nejma El Houda Bouamama and Mr. M’hamed Ben Mokhtar presented Morocco as a “Gateway to Africa” for American investors seeking to businesses with the entire continent. Mr. Gregory Simpkins, Senior Advisor, Africa Bureau USAID and Mr. Scott Ticknor, Senior Advisor to the President, Corporate Council on Africa represented their organizations at the event.

AIM Roadshow continues to Beijing on October 22.

U.S. Issues Revised Visa Reciprocity Fees for Nigeria



@StateDept Issues Revised Visa Reciprocity Fees For Nigeria

The US Embassy Abuja in Nigeria announced recently that the visa reciprocity schedule for Nigeria has changed effective August 29, 2019.  The statement notes that since early 2018, the U.S. government has engaged the Nigerian government to request that the Nigerian government change the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories.  Apparently, the government of Nigeria has not changed its fee structure for U.S. citizen visa applicants, so now the State Department has issued new reciprocity fees. Note that visa processing fees, and visa issuance fees are not the same.
Effective worldwide on 29 August, Nigerian citizens will be required to pay a visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, for all approved applications for nonimmigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications.  The reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application.  Nigerian citizens whose applications for a nonimmigrant visa are denied will not be charged the new reciprocity fee.  Both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.

U.S. law requires U.S. visa fees and validity periods to be based on the treatment afforded to U.S. citizens by foreign governments, insofar as possible.  Visa issuance fees are implemented under the principle of reciprocity: when a foreign government imposes additional visa fees on U.S. citizens, the United States will impose reciprocal fees on citizens of that country for similar types of visas.  Nationals of a number of countries worldwide are currently required to pay this type of fee after their nonimmigrant visa application is approved.

The total cost for a U.S. citizen to obtain a visa to Nigeria is currently higher than the total cost for a Nigerian to obtain a comparable visa to the United States.  The new reciprocity fee for Nigerian citizens is meant to eliminate that cost difference.

Since early 2018, the U.S. government has engaged the Nigerian government to request that the Nigerian government change the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories.  After eighteen months of review and consultations, the government of Nigeria has not changed its fee structure for U.S. citizen visa applicants, requiring the U.S. Department of State to enact new reciprocity fees in accordance with our visa laws.

The reciprocity fee will be required for all Nigerian citizens worldwide, regardless of where they are applying for a nonimmigrant visa to the United States.  The reciprocity fee is required for each visa that is issued, which means both adults and minors whose visa applications are approved will be charged the reciprocity fee.  The fee can only be paid at the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General.  The reciprocity fee cannot be paid at banks or any other location.

The new fees range between $80 to $303.00 USD.  The Visa Reciprocity Schedule is available here.

Meet the New U.S. Ambassador to Malawi


Photo: Malawi Government via Twitter

Government of Malawi
August 6, 2019

New United States of America Ambassador to #Malawi, Robert Scott, Tuesday, presented his letters of credence to President Prof. @APMutharika at Sanjika Palace.

About Robert Scott (courtesy U.S. Embassy, Malawi)

Robert Scott, a member of the Foreign Service, is currently the Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Malawi. Prior to this, Ambassador Scott was the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs covering West African Affairs and Economic and Regional Affairs. Previously he served as the Director for Economic and Regional Affairs in the Department of State’s Africa Bureau, the Deputy Chief of Mission in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and as the Deputy Office Director for West African Affairs. Other overseas tours include Ukraine, Germany, France, Ghana, and domestic assignments working on climate change and European security issues.

Mr. Scott joined the Foreign Service in 1994. He received a B.A. from Lawrence University, and has an M.A. in International Relations from American

United States and Algeria Sign Cultural Property Agreement


Photo: State Department

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
August 14, 2019

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce and Algerian Minister of Culture Meriem Merdaci will sign a landmark bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on cultural property protection on Thursday, August 15, at 11:00 a.m. at the Department of State.

This agreement places U.S. import restrictions on categories of Algerian archaeological material dating from 2.4 million years ago to approximately 1750 A.D., including some of the earliest human remains found at Ain Boucherit and cultural objects from many of Algeria’s World Heritage sites, including Tipasa, Timgad, and Dj’mila. The joint commitment of the United States and Algeria to protect Algeria’s heritage and accessibility for future generations promotes economic development around sustainable tourism and reduces the incentive for pillage and trafficking.

The United States has been unwavering in its commitment to protect and preserve cultural heritage around the world and to combat the trafficking in cultural property that funds criminal and terrorist networks. The cultural property agreement negotiated by the State Department under the U.S. law implementing the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property demonstrates the United States commitment to our relationship with Algeria. The United States has similar bilateral agreements with 19 countries around the world, and has imposed emergency import restrictions on cultural property from Iraq and Syria as well.

Meet the New U.S. Ambassador to Libya


Photo: U.S. Embassy Libya


U.S. Embassy Libya
August 22, 2019

Today, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland presented a copy of his credentials to Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Taher Siala at the Libyan Embassy in Tunisia. In their meeting, Ambassador Norland reiterated his commitment to intensify diplomatic engagement with all parties with the goal of bringing an early end to the conflict in Libya. He also expressed continued U.S. support of UN-led efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire and negotiated political solution that promotes prosperity, security and stability for all Libyans.

About Richard Norland (from Wikipedia)

Ambassador Richard Norland previously served as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford. Prior to that he served as U.S. Ambassador to Georgia (2012-2015), Deputy Commandant/International Affairs Advisor at the National War College (2010-2012), U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan (2007-2010), and Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan (2005-2007) and Riga, Latvia (2003-2005).[2]

From October 2002 through January 2003, Richard Norland served in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan as a diplomat with the U.S. Army Civil Affairs team promoting political and economic reconstruction.[2]

Richard Norland was Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council for two years during the Clinton and Bush administrations, focusing in particular on the Northern Ireland peace process, as well as on the Baltic States, OSCE, and a number of key European partners. He served as Political Counselor at the American Embassy in Dublin, Ireland from 1995 through the negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.[3]

Richard Norland served from 1988-1990 as Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, USSR during President Gorbachev’s tenure and the period of glasnost and perestroika. He was subsequently detailed to the Pentagon’s Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he worked on policy issues following the break-up of the Soviet Union. He served in 1993 as the U.S. representative and acting mission head on the CSCE Mission to Georgia, addressing conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and later visited Chechnya in a similar capacity.[3]

Earlier in his career, Richard Norland served in the United States’ northernmost diplomatic office, 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle, as Chief of the U.S. Information Office in Tromsø, Norway. He later served as Senior Arctic Official coordinating the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council. He was also a Special Assistant (for African affairs) to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. He served as Norway-Denmark desk officer, and as assistant desk officer for South Africa. His first tour was in Manama, Bahrain.[3]

President Trump Meets Egyptian President el-Sisi


Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Office of the Press Secretary
The White House
August 26, 2019

Remarks by President Trump and President El-Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt Before Bilateral Meeting | Biarritz, France

Hotel du Palais
Biarritz, France
8:52 A.M. CEST

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. It’s a great honor to be with President El-Sisi, who’s a friend of mine for now a long time, it seems, right? From even before the campaign.

PRESIDENT EL-SISI: Yes.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We met during the campaign, a little before the campaign. And we got along right away. I didn’t actually ask for an endorsement, but I think if I would’ve asked, I might have gotten it. (Laughter.)

We understood each other very well. He’s a very tough man, I will tell you that. But he’s also a good man, and he’s done a fantastic job in Egypt. Not easy.

So we’ll be talking, today, trade. We’ll be talking military. A lot of things are happening in your part of the world, as usual, unfortunately.

And also, very big things are happening with China. You probably read the breaking news a little while ago that they want to make a deal — they just came out — and they want calm. And that’s a great thing, frankly. And one of the reasons that he’s a great leader — President Xi — and one of the reasons that China is a great country is they understand how life works. And that was just announced.
China called, last night, our top trade people, and said, “Let’s get back to the table.” So, we’ll be getting back to the table. And I think they want to do something. They’ve been hurt very badly, but they understand this is the right thing to do. And I have great respect for it. I have great respect for it.

This is a very positive development for the world.

So we’re going to have a further statement on China. We’ll have a news conference a little bit later, unless the media doesn’t want a news conference. If you don’t want one, we’ll cancel it immediately. But assuming you want one, we’ll have a news conference, which I think you might want.
In the meantime, Egypt has made tremendous progress under a great leader’s leadership. It’s what it’s all about. And your staff also, who I’ve gotten to know — fantastic people. So I want to thank you and I want to congratulate you.

PRESIDENT EL-SISI: (As interpreted.) Your Excellency, I thank you very much. It’s, really, a pleasure to have this meeting with you. We enjoy mutual understanding, appreciation, and respect.

And this is a marvelous thing that we’re having together.

And as you mentioned, Your Excellency, our relationship started before the campaign, during the campaign, and afterwards. And I’m confident that it is going to last.

We expressed our congratulations in advance, before, and we express our congratulations now, in advance.

There are a lot of issues of mutual interest that we’re going to address in this meeting. And we always enjoy this mutual and deep understanding.

I express my highest respect, thanks, and appreciation, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. One of the things we’ll be discussing — one of the things we’ll be discussing will be trade. And I can’t underestimate or speak more highly of the trade deal we made yesterday with Japan. It’s an incredible — an incredible deal. It’s a massive deal, especially for our agriculture — our farmers, our ranchers — and e-commerce. A big e-commerce component that is very important.

But it’s a fantastic deal. It’s a tremendous deal. It came at a great time. And we’ve been helping the farmers anyway, but it’s something that really has impressed me very much, Mr. President. Our farmers, they don’t want to take. They want to produce. They want to be able to do their work. They don’t want anything for nothing. They’re incredible people. I call them “great American patriots.” And they’ve been really — the job they’re doing is something very special.

So we made a very big deal yesterday with Japan, and it is — it’s one of the biggest trade deals you’ll ever see.

And my only problem, Mr. President, is when we make a really big and really great trade deal, like with Japan yesterday — the media never writes about it. They never write about it. They only like to write about the bad things. And there aren’t too many of them. There aren’t too many of them.

Okay. Do you have anything further to say? Okay, thank you very much.

Q Mr. President, can you tell us about the China call that you referred to? When will the next round of negotiations start? And did you speak to President Xi?

Q Mr. President, can you tell me why the Palestinian Authority has been taken out of the U.S. State Department website? And how is it conducive to the peace —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Go ahead. What was your question?

Q Mr. President, I asked you: Could you tell us a little bit more about the call you referred to? When will the next round of negotiations with China start?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’ve gotten two calls. And very, very good calls. Very productive calls. They mean business. They want to be able to make a deal. It’s very important that — yeah, I think it’s very important for them.

Look, they’ve lost 3 million jobs, and a lot of things have happened. And it’s why President Xi is a great leader. He understands. And it’s going to be great for China. It’s going to be great for the U.S.

It’s going to be great for the world. He understands that, and he’s able to do things that other people aren’t able to do.

So, we were called, and we’re going to start very shortly to negotiate, and we’ll see what happens.

But I think we’re going to make a deal because they don’t want to lose their chains. They have supply chains that are unbelievably intricate, and people are all leaving and they’re going to other countries, including the United States, by the way. We’re going to get a lot of them too, a percentage. Meaning, we’ll get — I think we’re going to get a higher percentage than a lot of people would think.

So we are going to start talking very seriously, and we’ll see how that goes. We’ve had a lot of good things.

We had other good news yesterday, but I can’t talk to you about that. And, frankly, you people — you called that one totally wrong. You had that one figured as wrong as you can figure it. But we had some other good news yesterday.

Q Are you speaking to President Xi directly?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t want to say. I can’t comment on that.

Q Do you have any response to Foreign Minister Zarif being here yesterday? Were you surprised that he was here?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No.

Q And did you talk about — did you meet with him? Did anyone from the U.S. government meet with him?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, I don’t want to comment on that. But he was here, and we’ll see what happens with Iran. But you called it wrong in the media last night. I like to at least tell you when you call — and I’ll tell you when you call it right, too, which isn’t too often.

Q Some of your allies, though, are saying that it was disrespectful for Macron to invite Zarif —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, just the opposite.

Q — or that it was disrespectful to the U.S.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, no, no.

Q You don’t feel that way?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: He asked my approval. President Macron asked my — we have a very good relationship. Look — you know, that’s another thing you got wrong.

I mean, we had — this was the best meeting we’ve had with President Macron, in France. It was straight up — now, we’re not finished yet. We have another, sort of, a day left. We have a lot of meetings, including with the President of Egypt, which I’m looking forward to. And I’m meeting with Angela Merkel in a little while. And we’re meeting with a few others. And we have some very important meetings planned, plus we have some sessions. And then we’ll have a news conference if you so choose.

Q Mr. President —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: But on the Macron — no, no, that was — he spoke to me. He asked me. I said, “If you want to do that, that’s okay.” I don’t consider that disrespectful at all, especially when he asked me for approval.

Q Mr. President, President El-Sisi is an important figure in the U.S. peace —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Very important.

Q Can you speak about that and whether taking Palestinian Authority out of the State Department’s website list of countries is conducive to that?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, you can ask Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State. And he’s working very, very hard on that situation, and very competently. And if you look and see what’s going on with the Palestinians and with Israel, we’d like to see if we can make a deal. It’s very — it got complicated by the Israeli elections, but we’re going to know who the Prime Minister is going to be fairly soon. It’s happening along. That was a complicating factor.

I think the Palestinians would like to make a deal. As you know, I cut off most funding to the Palestinians — a lot of funding. And I think they’d like to get it back. I think they’d like to make a deal. We’ll see what happens. Nobody has ever done that before. They used to negotiate paying a fortune of money — $750 million. They’d pay, pay, pay. And they’d be treated with disrespect, but they’d keep paying. This went on for years. So I don’t believe in that.

We cut off their funding — a lot of it. And we’ll see what happens. But I think they want to make a deal, the Palestinians. And I think Israel would like to make a deal too.

I think people, after so many years and decades, I think they’re a little tired of fighting. Even he gets tired of fighting. Him, I’m not sure about. I think he always wants to fight.

Q Are you confident that it’s going to be released right after the Israeli election?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, I don’t — you mean the deal?

Q The peace (inaudible).

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, of course not. It won’t be before the election, I don’t think.

Q No, after. After the election.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: But I think you may see what the deal is before the election. But I — and I think a deal will happen. But everybody says that that’s a deal that can’t be made. They always refer to that deal — Israel and the Palestinians; there’s tremendous hatred for many, many decades. And everybody says that is a deal that cannot be made. So we’ll see if we can make it.

Q When did President Macron tell you he was going to invite the —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t want to comment on that. But I knew he was coming in and I respected the fact that he was coming in. And he met with President Macron. And Iran has got a very difficult situation. They’re in a position that’s not a very good position from the standpoint of economics. And that’s okay, because we can clear that up very quickly.

I’m looking to have a really good Iran, really strong. We’re not looking for regime change. You’ve seen how that works over the last 20 years. That hasn’t been too good. And we’re looking to make — make Iran rich again. Let’s — let them be rich. Let’s let them do well, if they want, or they can be poor as can be. They can be like they are now.

And I’ll tell you what: I don’t think it’s acceptable, the way they’re being forced to live in Iran. And what we want is very sim- — it’s got to be non-nuclear. It’s got to be non-nuclear. We’re going to talk about ballistic missiles. We’re going to talk about timing. We’re going to talk about the length of the agreement, which, as you know, it expires in a very short period of time.

I mean, the agreement that President Obama made expires in a very short period of time. What kind of agreement is that? He paid $150 billion for a short-term agreement. He’d like to have $150 billion for a short — he’ll do — he’ll do that deal.

Plus, he gave them $1.8 billion in cash. Where’s your finance minister? Finance minister? Which one?

MINISTER SHOUKRY: Not here, but I’ll —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Okay, explain to him, one hundred — $1.8 billion in cash. Will you take it? Egypt will take it.

Q Mr. President, what’s the next step, then, with Iran, from your perspective?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’ll see what happens. You know, it’s all very new. They’re under a lot of financial stress. We put sanctions. Secretary of the Treasury is here right now. And he’s, really, very expert at what he does. And he’s done a very effective job.

They used to say that — look, we are the largest economy, by far, in the world. When I became President, we were heading to be the second largest. China was going to overtake us. Not going to happen. Not going to happen anytime, I’ll tell you, when I’m here. Can’t happen.

We’ve picked up $20 trillion in worth. And China has lost $20-, $25-, $30 trillion in worth. We’re now almost double the size the economy.

If I hadn’t won, our economy now would have been overtaken by China. And all these clowns that are sitting on television that have been running this government for many years, that have been taken to the cleaners by China, they’re all sitting there saying, “Well, I don’t think the President is negotiating properly.” They don’t know what they’re talking about.

I have great respect for the fact that China called; they want to make a deal. I have great respect. And I have great respect for President Xi. And I think we’re going to have a deal because now we’re dealing on proper terms. They understand, and we understand. But that’s a great thing that happened.

And they want to get something done. Now, maybe it won’t get done, but this is the first time I’ve seen them where they really do want to make a deal. And I think that’s a very positive step.

 Q But with regard to Iran?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: And as far as Iran is concerned, that was with great respect. And I spoke to President Macron yesterday, and I knew everything he was doing, and I approved whatever he was doing. And I thought it was fine. And I think it’s too soon to meet. I didn’t want to meet. I said, “I don’t want to meet right now.” But it’s soon going to be time to meet with Iran, and it’s going to be a great thing for Iran. They have a great potential.

Iran has great potential. And you know who else has great potential? North Korea. Kim Jong Un. And under his leadership, North Korea has great potential. And I don’t think North Korea wants to blow it. Because if they blow it, it won’t be good.

Q You didn’t want to meet with Zarif, but did you send a message to him on Iran at all?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t want to comment on that. I can’t comment on that.

Q Are you considering French wine tariffs, Mr. President? Is that a possibility?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Am I going to tariff French wine?

Q Yes.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it depends on the deal we work out on the digital tax.

Q And what’s the status of that, sir?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re negotiating right now.

Q And on Iran, sir, are you willing to waive oil sanctions in order to get Iran to the table?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m not going to tell you what I’m willing to do. But Iran has a chance to really build themselves up and be a very great nation — greater than before. But they have to stop terrorism. That is your number-one nation of terror. Now, not in the last year and half, two years, because they can’t spend like they used to spend.

They took President Obama’s $150 billion and they doled it out to terrorists all over the place. I think they’re going to change. I really do. I believe they have a chance to be a very special nation. I hope that’s true.

Q Mr. President, can you speak about the trade deal with Japan? Many are commenting that the Japanese Prime Minister seemed less enthusiastic than you. Can you ensure that he’s actually onboard with this?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, you have to understand, he’s a friend of mine, one of my closest friends. In this world, he’s one of my closest friends.

They send us millions and millions of cars; they have for many years. They’re essentially not taxed. So they send them in from Japan. They’re essentially not taxed. And my first step with Japan was to say, “You have to move car companies into the United States.” And they did. Many car companies are now operating plants in the United States and building plants in the United States. Because we have had, over the years, a tremendous trade deficit with Japan.

But we have a lot of cards with Japan. Number one is my relationship with Prime Minister Abe. So I don’t think we have to use the cards. But the ultimate card is they send us millions and millions of cars. Essentially, it’s 2.5 percent, but there’s ways of getting around it. Essentially, non-tariff, free. Now, if I won’t to put tariffs on those cars, I’d make so much money for this country, your head would spin.

So, yeah, he’s going to make the deal. I feel pretty certain about that. That’s what I do. We have cards.

That’s a thing people didn’t understand. He knew this a long time ago. We have the cards. We’re the big piggybank that everybody has been robbing for 35 years. We have all the cards. But we never played them because we never had a President that understood this. And we never had an administration or trade negotiators that understood it.

Q Are you planning to eventually take off the 2.5 percent auto tax?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Nobody has ever asked me that question but you. Why would I do that? Tell me. Why?

Okay? Thank you very much. Thank you. We’ll be having a press conference.

END

9:11 A.M. CEST

***************************************************************

August 26, 2019

Readout of President Donald J. Trump’s Meeting with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France

Today, President Donald J. Trump met with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt in Biarritz, France. The two leaders discussed the crisis in Libya. They expressed their shared support for a stable, unified, and democratic Libya, able to stand on its own against terrorism and to deliver security and prosperity for all Libyans.