Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Beijing, China (4E) – Jack Ma, China’s richest man and founder of Chinese ecommerce giant, the Alibaba Group, has apologized he won’t be able to create one million new jobs in the United States — he’s blaming Donald Trump and his unwarranted trade war for this development.
He’s also said the U.S.-China trade war might last up to 20 years.
Ma made his original job creation vow during a meeting with Trump in January 2017 before Trump’s inauguration.
“The promise was made on the premise of friendly US-China partnership and rational trade relations,” said Ma. “That premise no longer exists today, so our promise cannot be fulfilled.”
Ma also said Alibaba won’t “stop working hard to contribute to the healthy development of China-US trade.” He has announced plans to relinquish his post as Alibaba Executive Chairman and will retire from his job on September 10, 2019.
American pundits have said Ma’s promise to enable one million American small businesses and farmers to sell their goods on Alibaba platform over the next five years was too “pie-in-the-sky-ish” to begin with.
The ongoing trade conflict between the US and China fills Ma with dread. Ma has called the trade war ignited by Trump a “mess” that could have decades-long consequences.
More specifically, Ma fears thjis trade war mightld last 20 years and have a bigger impact than most people think.
“It’s going to last long, it’s going to be a mess,” said Ma at Alibaba’s annual investor conference in Hangzhou, China. The war could last for “maybe 20 years,” he added.
The trade war will worsen immensely in January 2019 if and when the U.S. imposes heavy tariffs on $267 million in Chinese goods.
Ma’s appearance at the investor conference was his first in front of investors after announcing his plans to step down as Alibaba executive chairman. When commenting about his coming retirement, he said it’s not a “sudden decision” and he’s been prepared for it for more than 10 years.
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