President Trump a joint press conference with Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. March 6, 2018

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President Trump holds a joint press conference with Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. March 6, 2018

Donald Trump, the President of the United States, hosted Stefan Lofven, Prime Minister of Sweden on 6th March 2018 at the White House where both discussed the ongoing efforts of their respective countries with the North Korean regime as Kim Jong-Un, the leader of North Korea, said he would be willing to start talks about ending its nuclear weapons program.

Trump started his speech by talking about the successful partnership between the United States and Sweden. He states that that Swedish investment in the United States support over 2,000 American jobs. Moreover, in a deal worth over $3 billion, this system will increase stability in the Baltic Sea region.

After this, Sweden’s Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, speaks about the alliance between the two nations and solving several issues together, such as the transatlantic link and the global coalition against ISIS.

Several reporters present in the press conference ask questions from the two leaders. The first reporter asks about the trade deals, to which Trump says that other nations, including the European Union, are taking advantage of the United States. Additionally, USA has a trade deficit of over $800 billion a year, which will not happen under Trump’s government. And, he’s working on trade deals. Lofven answers this by saying that he supports open and free trade because 50% of their nation’s GDP comes from exports.

The next reporter asks about the collaboration of both the nations with North Korea and immigration issues between America and Sweden. Trump stated that the United States has made progress in talks with the North Koreans and duly credited Sweden for advocating Americans detained in the country. Sweden assisted the US government in securing Otto Warmbier in 2017. Otto was arrested on theft charges and died after his release from the injuries he sustained while in North Korean captivity. On immigration is a problem on which they’re working.

Meanwhile, Lofven stressed that finding dialogue with the North Koreans was very important and referred to it as a ‘very dangerous situation.’ He stated that all three countries should be concerned with the development of nuclear weapons.

Another reporter asked whether the recent openness to talk from North Korea is sincere or are they just buying time for their nuclear weapon.

To this, Trump jokingly answered, ‘Me.’ He also added that the North Koreans appeared sincere in their efforts for talks due to the aggressive sanctions of Americans in their country.

While the two bodies were agreeing on the fact that the Korean peninsula should be denuclearized, Trump and Lofven were in odds over the US President’s proposed aluminum and steel tariffs, which Lofven considers to be a negative impact on the European Union.

 

When the time came to explain, Trump said he does not blame the countries, only their leadership. He went on further and said that the US lost over $500 billion a year on trade when he was in China with President Xi.  He stated the same situation is with the European Union. Lastly, Trump added that they are able to make a deal with Mexico and Canada on NAFTA, there will be no reason to apply tariffs on Mexico and Canada.

On being asked about the potential trade war over his tariff plans, Trump said that when every single other country is in front of the US, trade wars are not that bad. He also added that the trade wars will hurt them more than the US. On this, Lofven stated that is it very important to have free trade and a way to cooperate between the US and the European Union.

On being asked about the Russian influence on the elections and how he intends to deter their efforts in the upcoming elections, Trump said that the Russians had no impact on the votes whatsoever. He said that while other individuals and countries might be meddling, he will not let the system of votes be compromised in any way ever. Lofven agreed with Trump in this matter and added that elections in a country should only be based on the people of that country.

The last question was whether both the leaders should follow the same politics or not. To this, Lofven responded that both of them are from outside politics and stand by the Paris agreement.

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