President Donald Trump on Monday said the United States was not a fully developed country.
Trump stated this at a news conference outside the White House that coincided with the United States Labour Day celebration.
According to him, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) treats China as a developing nation, and the United States “as a nation that is fully developed”.
He cited the United States-China trade agreement signed by the Obama administration under WTO conventions, describing it as one of the most disastrous trade deals in history.
“We are not fully developed, as far I am concerned.
“China didn’t t play by the rules. One of the reasons WTO is so bad is because China didn’t play by the rules.
“We did, but their rules were easier because they are considered a developing nation.
“So, their standards are much lower, but even at that they didn’t play by the rules,” he said.
Trump said the United States lost millions of jobs and billions of dollars to China under the deal, which his administration had renegotiated.
No country has ever cheated America like China did for many years and decades, the president said, adding that the United States was getting nothing other than losses.
“But China was taking our money to build their military. You see they are building a very powerful military.
“We are lucky I am building ours otherwise we would be dwarfed right now by China,” he said.
Reiterating his claim that China would own America should Joe Biden wins the Nov. 3 presidential election, he said his administration was working towards decoupling the United States and Chinese economies.
“So, when you mention the word decouple, it’s an interesting word.
“Under my administration, we will make America enter the manufacturing super power of the world that will end our reliance on China once and for all.
“Whether it’s decoupling or putting in massive tariffs like I have been doing already, we will end our reliance on China because we can’t rely on China,” he added.
Trump said the WTO had become much better following his rough stance against international organisations that were unfair to the United States
“We are looking at WTO. They have become much better. They have been very nice to us lately, I would say that, amazingly.
“We never used to win anything at the WTO, we were losing every case, but all of a sudden we won a lot of cases.
“We just won seven billion dollars, and they are talking to us much differently than they used to, because if they don’t shape up, we are going to shape out, that’s all.”
Suspect wanted by FBI for $6m scam surrenders to EFCC — Official
Okpoh is wanted by FBI for alleged involvement in a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scheme that allegedly defrauded more than 70 different businesses in the United States of six million dollars (N2.79 billion).
A spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, that Okpoh turned himself in to the anti-graft agency on Sept. 18.
“Okpoh, alongside Richard Uzuh, Alex Ogunshakin, Abiola Kayode and Nnamdi Benson were declared wanted by the FBI sometime in 2019.
“They allegedly defrauded over 70 businesses in the United States, of over six million dollars,” he said.
Uwujaren said that Okpoh allegedly provided over 40 bank accounts and conspired with others to receive fraudulent wire transfers from their victims totaling over one million US dollars.
“Okpoh was, on Aug. 21, 2019, indicted in the United States District Court, District of Nebraska, on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
“He turned himself in to EFCC Lagos Zonal Office in the company of his parents on Sept. 18, 2020,” he stated.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Wale Ojetimi
Silverbird Group to establish cinema outlets in Ebonyi
The Silverbird Entertainment Group says it plans to establish cinema outlets in Ebonyi by December 2020 to meet the demands of the anticipated Christmas ‘crowd’.
Mr Guy Murray-Bruce, President of the Silverbird Group, made the pronouncement on Tuesday during a business forum organised by the Ebonyi government for chief executives of business conglomerates across the country among other economic and social stakeholders.
Murray-Bruce commended Gov. David Umahi for his massive infrastructural strides and acknowledged that such strides and the favourable business climate attracted the group to invest in the state.
“The group finds in Ebonyi, everything it needs to operate as the people are peaceful, loving and generally great people.
“We plan to be in Ebonyi, bring cinemas to the shopping mall which is the biggest mall I have seen in West Africa.
“I do not know how the governor did it as we were thrilled to see the beautiful street lights in Abakaliki, runways, general aesthetics and saw at least, 1,000 people working at the mall, day and night,” he said.
He said the group will install cinema screens of 100×75, 100×35 seaters at the mall and establish its interest in television and radio.
“We intend to bring ‘box to boxes’ around to world to Abakaliki as we are the pioneer of modern cinema services in Nigeria with reach across Liberia, Ghana among others.
“Ebonyi is a state of about three million people with 70 per cent of the population being of youthful age which effectively drives the economy of any given society.
Responding, Umahi expressed delight for Silverbird’s planned investment in the state and its rating that the Ebonyi international shopping mall was the best in West Africa.
“Once this rating comes from Silverbird, it is true considering its wide reach across Ghana, California in the United States among others,” he said.
Umahi also commended the businessmen of Igbo extraction in Lagas especially those from the Computer Village for accepting to invest in the state, stating that they demonstrated the real Igbo spirit.
“We have offered to provide necessary assistance to them (computer village businessmen) and decided to reduce the rates at the shopping mall because of their interest.
“We have also reserved the biggest edifice at the state’s Centenary city Abakaliki for the Silicon University which complies with vision of the computer village businessmen,” he said.
Umahi urged investors to disregard reports on the social media and invest in the state as they would enjoy the best of security, peace and overall conducive business environment.
HRH Nnaemeka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, urged Ebonyi citizens to continue supporting the governor in consolidating on his strides which had actually uplifted their wellbeing and enhanced the state’s rating.
Chief Nnia Nwodo, President of Ohaneze Ndigbo Socio-Cultural Organisation, urged the Igbo residing outside the region to invest in states in the zone and also propagate the indigenous language anywhere they are.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that goodwill messages were delivered by the heads of business conglomerates as they signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with the state government.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/DonaldUgwu
Sanusi calls for diversification of economy to address poverty, inequality
Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has said that Nigeria must diversify its economy in order to address the high rate of poverty and inequality in the country.
He also said governments at all levels must invest on human capital development and create enabling environment for investments, instead of borrowing to finance development.
Sanusi gave the advice in a presentation during the virtual Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit, on Tuesday.
The former Governor of the Central Bank, however, said the Federal Government has minimal role to play in rejigging the economy.
“While everyone looks to the federal government for solutions, the truth is that its role in the economy is small – both in absolute and relative terms.’’
Sanusi noted that the nation’s economy has not been diversified, years after the discovery of oil.
He added that though Nigeria has generated an increase in wealth from $345 in 1985 to $2,655 in 2015 GDP per capita, but there has been no structural transformation in what the country actually produce.
According to him, though the economy is growing, but its non diversification has resulted to the high rate of poverty and high level of inequality in the country.
He explained that the difference between African countries and those in Asia is that they have diversified from primary to secondary and tertiary sectors of the global economy.
“The major difference is that they have moved on but we have not,’’ he lamented.
Sanusi pointed out that Malaysia has the same factors that Nigeria has been using as an excuse for having not developed, adding that both countries are multi-ethnic and have fought wars.
The former Emir lamented that Nigeria is still a consumer nation instead of being a producer, by seizing on the investments that the government has done in technology.
“Africa’s failure has been in not leveraging on the underlying infrastructure – towers and under sea cables- to catalyse the development of other and new industries,’’ he said.
‘’If you use your smart phone which is made in China and order shoes from France and they are delivered to you at home, what have you actually gained? You are just a consumer,’’ he added.
The ex-CBN Governor argued that the same phone can be put to productive use, when it is used to shoot a Nollywood movie and the film clip is distributed.
Sanusi noted that the success of Nigeria’s pre-oil economy was based on the dynamism of its trading sector and the diversity of its export base, which ‘’meant that it was less vulnerable to terms of trade shock driven by any one export.”
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
China not interested in ‘hot or cold war’ — Jinping
President Xi Jinping of China on Tuesday told the United Nations General Assembly that he had no intention to engage any country in “a cold or hot war”.
Jinping’s remark came amid rising tensions between China and the U,S., whose president, Donald Trump, attacked Beijing in his speech earlier.
“We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation.
“We will not seek to develop only ourselves or engage in zero sum game,” Jinping said in his pre-recorded video address to the virtual gathering of world leaders.
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres had earlier in the day, warned against a “new Cold War” between China and the United States, saying the face-off between the two countries was moving the world in “a very dangerous direction”.
“Our world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a great fracture, each with its own trade and financial rules and internet and artificial intelligence capacities.
“A technological and economic divide risks inevitably turning into a geo-strategic and military divide. We must avoid this at all costs,” he said.
Relations between the United States and China – both nuclear-armed countries and veto power holders in the UN Security Council – have deteriorated since 2019.
The Trump administration is accusing China of unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, and cyber espionage – all of which Beijing has denied.
The situation had triggered a series of economic sanctions including visa restrictions and expulsions by Washington targeting Chinese government officials, companies, diplomats, and students.
China had retaliated in some cases, including the closure of the American consulate.
In his statement earlier at the Assembly, Trump in his characteristic forthrightness, put China on the spot over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the environment.
“We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China,” Trump said.
He accused China of dumping “millions and millions of tons of plastic and trash into the oceans and overfishing other countries’ waters”.
“China’s carbon emissions are nearly twice what the United States has, and it’s rising fast.
“Those, who attack America’s exceptional environmental record while ignoring China’s rampant pollution are not interested in the environment.
“They only want to punish America and I will not stand for it,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Emmanuel Yashim