By Arul Louis
New York, Jan 12 : President-elect Donald Trump has announced that creating jobs would be the cornerstone of his presidency and took aim at the pharmaceutical sector vowing to bring the industry back to the US.
Overall, his policies spell trouble for nations that seek to expand exports to the US.
“We’re going to create jobs,” he declared at his first news conference here on Wednesday. “I said that I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created. And I mean that.”
In his hour-long meeting with over 250 media people at the Trump Tower, he gave more time to jobs creation and bringing back jobs than to foreign policy.
After outlining what he said were his successes in bringing back manufacturing to the US, he turned on the pharmaceutical industry.
“We’ve got to get our drug industry back,” he said. “Our drug industry has been disastrous. They’re leaving left and right. They supply our drugs, but they don’t make them here, to a large extent.”
India exported $6 billion worth of drugs to the US in 2015 and could feel the impact of this policy, although it could also gain from his plans to cut the cost of pharmaceuticals because of India’s leadership in generics, an area in which US companies have not left the country like branded pharma have.
He accused the pharma sector of “getting away with murder” by charging high process — the bidding process for buying drugs is flawed.
“Pharma has a lot of lobbies and a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there’s very little bidding on drugs,” he said.
“We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly and we’re going to start bidding and we’re going to save billions of dollars over a period of time.”
He listed companies like Fiat Chrysler and Ford planning to set up automobile factories in the US, instead of abroad and mentioned his meetings with Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma, the founder of the e-commerce giant Ali Baba, as examples of how his election is contributing to jobs creation.
He asserted in the next couple of weeks more companies would be announcing plans to be set up factories in the America Midwest, from where he drew the core of his support from those hurt by the deindustrialisation.
As part of his plans to cut government waste, he cited the examples of F-35 and F-18 aircraft programmes, which he asserted, were over budget by billions of dollars and behind schedule.
He said that he would be working with generals and admirals to turn them around the lower costs.