“Most of you, I can say, you’re doing fantastically well,” the US president said while greeting and backslapping the assembled bosses. “‘Thank you, Mr. President.’ Don’t worry about it. Don’t feel guilty.”
The new trade agreement centers on the US halving a 15% duty on $110 billion worth of Chinese imports and delaying planned tariff hikes, in exchange for China spending at least $200 billion more on American goods in the next two years than it did in 2017, improving protection of intellectual property, and opening up its financial markets.
Trump jokingly complained to eBay’s interim CEO, Scott Schenkel, that items he signed were being put up for sale on the auction site.
“I sign things, and the next night, I see them on eBay,” he said. He gave the example of someone asking him to sign a pair of sneakers then finding them on sale for $5,000 on the website. “Sometimes it’s the senators and the congressmen that do it.”
The president also reassured Boeing CEO David Calhoun, who started on Monday, that he was off the hook for the airplane maker’s 737 Max woes. “It’s not your fault. You just got there.”
Trump also demanded credit for JPMorgan Chase’s record revenues and profits last year. “Will you say, ‘Thank you, Mr. President’ at least? Huh?” he asked Mary Erdoes, the boss of the bank’s asset and wealth management division.
After failing to spot Ken Griffin, Trump suggested the billionaire manager of hedge fund Citadel was squirreling away his cash. “Where the hell is he? He’s trying to hide some of his money.”
When he reached News Corp CEO Robert Thompson, Trump praised the media titan’s founder, Rupert Murdoch. “Is he the greatest though, or what?”