President-Elect Trump: SoftBank Pledges $50B U.S. Tech Investment Because ‘We … Won The Election’
According to President-elect Donald Trump, Japan’s SoftBank Group’s planned $50 billion investment in the U.S. technology sector comes as a direct result of his presidential election win.
This investment is expected to potentially lead to the creation of more than 50,000 new jobs in the U.S.
— USA NEWS (@USANEWS007) December 6, 2016
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is [SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son] of Japan, and he’s just agreed to invest $50 billion in the United States and 50,000 jobs,” said Trump during an announcement in the lobby of his Trump Tower offices in Manhattan, New York, according to Reuters.
Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016
Meanwhile, according to the Wall Street Journal, the SoftBank investment will stem from a $100 billion fund that Masayoshi set up alongside Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund, as well as “other potential partners.” It was this sum, Reuters added, that SoftBank had hinted toward making prior to U.S. voters hitting the polls.
President-elect Trump met with Masayoshi, who is the chief executive and driving force behind the $68 billion telecommunications and technology investment firm, today at Trump Tower.
This investment, Masayoshi noted, per the Wall Street Journal, will specifically see “[investments] into… new startup companies in the United States.” The SoftBank CEO did not, however, elaborate on this plan, which, in and of itself, would be highly unlikely to spark 50,000 jobs.
Aside from fueling rumors of job creation and technology growth, the joint Trump-Masayoshi announcement has also led to further speculation that telecommunications carrier Sprint — which is 82 percent SoftBank-owned — might reconsider a potential merger with T-Mobile, its closest competitor. Those negotiations previously failed due to pressure from U.S. government regulation authorities under President Obama’s command.
Indeed, Reuters added that one of Trump’s top focuses in the past month since winning the U.S. presidential election has been to “engage with individual companies, while turning his back on broader, years-in-the-works trade deals.”
The message, the news outlet concluded, is that the future President Trump will only continue to keep “leaning on the deal-making skills he honed in the boardroom” after more than a year of campaign promises to help stop the “over-regulation of business.”
Trump’s administration is also, Reuters noted, expected to be more accepting of big business mergers than was the climate under President Barack Obama.
Before the results of the U.S. election came in, Reuters noted that SoftBank had earmarked Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as “lead partner” in a potential investment of “up to $45 billion over the next five years.” For its part, SoftBank expected to chip in $25 billion, with “other large, unnamed investors in talks to… bring the total size of the new fund up to $100 billion.”
Masayoshi also told reporters, also per Reuters, that he expected much “deregulation” under Trump’s leadership.
Indeed, deregulation seems to be the forecast of most higher-up executives in the technology sector.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the CEO of one of Sprint/SoftBank’s top U.S. competitors, AT&T’s Randall Stephenson, recently noted that the upcoming Trump presidency will have a number of good economic benefits for the country, mostly because forecasters expect less taxes and government regulation.
Stephenson revealed that he expected “a more moderate approach to some of these regulations” to be “in the making under a Trump administration.”
“If we achieve any kind of meaningful corporate tax reform I am quite convinced that it is going to change this trajectory in terms of capital investment,” the AT&T CEO stated, also noting that his company’s plans for 2017 are to expect higher economics growth compared with past years.
“I can’t remember the last time I did an upside sensitivity in a business plan, but we are doing an upside sensitivity right now,” Stephenson concluded, also per the WSJ.
No full timeline has been provided for SoftBank’s planned investment.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]