President Trump on Thursday said the Japanese tech giant SoftBank is increasing its planned U.S. investments to $72 billion, up from $50 billion Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son already agreed to commit to new stateside ventures in late 2016. "He's not finished yet," the President said in reference to Mr. Son's U.S. plans, without clarifying on the matter in any capacity. SoftBank's CEO and President Trump spoke at yesterday's Wisconsin ceremony meant to provide more details on Foxconn's local LCD plant intended to start operations in 2020. The head of the state referred to the project as the "eighth wonder of the world," whereas Mr. Son confirmed SoftBank will be investing more money in the United States, albeit without referencing specific figures.
SoftBank's original $50 billion pledge was meant to create 50,000 jobs in the country, with the sum encompassing both direct moves from the company and those made through Vision Fund, its $93 billion investment vehicle. Earlier this year, the Japanese conglomerate became Uber's largest shareholder but did so while circumventing the world's largest private equity fund, having instead resolved to back the valuable ride-hailing startup directly. Foxconn is one of the investors in the fund, along with the likes of Qualcomm, Apple, Daimler, and Sharp.
As the White House is presently close to engaging in a full-blown trade war with China, attracting foreign investments is one of the top priorities of the government's officials in charge of the economy. Just under a year ago, Amerian office rental startup WeWork became the recipient of a $4.4 billion investment from SoftBank, with the Japanese company backing its Asian subsidiaries with another $1.4 billion as part of the same move. The Vision Fund has so far primarily focused on technology "unicorns," privately owned startups with valuations north of $1 billion. Mr. Son previously signaled SoftBank will soon be establishing new funds after the first investment project already started making money