Trump, Malaysian prime minister talk trade, Boeing jets at White House meeting

By Brooks Hays  |  Sept. 12, 2017 at 3:16 PM
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Sept. 12 (UPI) -- President Trump said he planned to discuss trade deals -- "very large trade deals" -- with Najib Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia, during the leader's visit to the White House on Tuesday.

Prior to the one-on-one meeting, the two leaders addressed the White House press corps inside the Cabinet Room.

"I just want to say, it's an honor to have you here," Trump said. "It's an honor to have your delegation with us."

President Trump commended Najib for his country's continued investment in the American economy. Trump said Malaysia would be purchasing between $10 billion and $20 billion in Boeing jets and GE engines. The president also noted Malaysia's activity in U.S. stock and bond markets.

"They have to be very happy because we're hitting new highs, almost on a weekly basis," Trump said. "So we're very proud of our stock market, what's happening since I became president."

Najib promised his country would remain an important trading partner and active investor in the U.S. economy. He also promised Malaysia would continue to assist in the fight against the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

"You need to reach the hearts and minds and we will support moderate and progressive Muslim regimes and governments around the world because that is the true face of Islam," Najib said.

Trump was joined by his national security advisor, H. R. McMaster, as well as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chief of Staff John Kelly, among others. The Malaysian delegation included several senior advisors to the prime minister, including the country's trade minister and the director of Malaysia's National Security Council.

President Trump thanked Malaysia for its commitment to addressing the threats of the North Korean regime, and for their support of the newly passed U.N. sanctions against North Korea.

"We think it's just another very small step -- not a big deal. Rex and I were just discussing not knowing if it has any impact, but it's nice to get a 15 to nothing vote," he said. "Those sanctions are nothing compared to ultimately what will have to happen."

Tuesday's meeting marked Najib's first visit to the White House. The two leaders promised to issue statements at the conclusion of their one-on-one discussion.

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