Politics & Government

Should Trump get credit for Japan’s SoftBank investment?

President-elect Donald Trump this week took credit for the decision of SoftBank, a Japanese multinational telecommunications company, to invest $50 billion in the United States.

“Masa (SoftBank) of Japan has agreed to invest $50 billion in the U.S. toward businesses and 50,000 new jobs...” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!”

But SoftBank and a Saudi sovereign-wealth fund actually announced the creation of a $100 billion technology-investment fund on Oct. 14, more than three weeks before the presidential election. On Nov. 7, the day before the election, SoftBank released additional information about the investments.

“Over the next decade, the SoftBank Vision Fund will be the biggest investor in the technology sector,” SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son said in a statement.

Some of the investment had been planned for the United States but it was unclear how much. Trump transition officials did not return a request for additional information.

Trump and Son met at Trump Tower Tuesday. Following the meeting, Son said he would invest $50 billion in the United States and commit to creating 50,000 new jobs, though he did not say over what time period.

“This is great, the U.S. will become great again,” Son told reporters.

Trump likes to take credit for economic development announcements. He claimed he saved 800 jobs at the Carrier in Indianapolis, though the furnace company is still shifting some jobs to Mexico. He claimed he persuaded Ford Motor Co. to not move a factory in Kentucky to Mexico, though the company had no plans to move the entire plant.

Tuesday’s announcement fueled speculation that telecommunications giant Sprint Corp , which is partly owned by SoftBank, and T-Mobile U.S. Inc. would renew merger talks that had faltered after U.S. regulators balked. The new Trump administration, however, may feel differently.

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