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President-elect Donald Trump and Alibaba CEO Jack Ma met today in New York at the Trump Tower to discuss increasing U.S. small business sales with China and Southeast Asia via the Alibaba e-commerce site. In a joint press conference following their meeting, but with the President-elect soon departing when reporters wouldn't stay on the topic of small business, a solo Ma said he and Trump are specifically discussing supporting "1 million small businesses," particularly in the American Midwest. He stressed agricultural products, but also mentioned garments, wine and fruit.
While an Alibaba spokesperson told CNBC before the meeting that the Chinese online retail giant company would create 1 million jobs over five years, Ma's comments focused on supporting small businesses.
"Alibaba will create 1 million U.S. jobs by enabling 1 million American small businesses and farmers to sell American goods to China and Asian consumers on the Alibaba platform," the company said in a statement. — Anita Balakrishnan, CBNC