Activist investor Carl Icahn has made billions of dollars pushing companies such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) to do more for their shareholders.
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His style and success are not lost on GOP hopeful Donald Trump who says he would tap Icahn to improve U.S. trade deals if elected. “I said, Carl, you're great at this. I'm great at this. We have -- there aren't too many of us. We need to bring our country back. Our trade deals are so bad."
Trump, who made these remarks on FOX Business Network’s Mornings With Maria, also called out the countries that are winning against the U.S. “I was in Los Angeles, two weeks ago. I saw ships come in, the biggest ships I have ever seen, with cars from Japan. And, you know, we give them beef and they don't even want to take it. We sell them wheat. It's ridiculous.” Improving trade relationships could help stem the loss of U.S. jobs to overseas rivals. Trump called out U.S. companies taking advantage of better deals outside the country. “Nabisco now is moving their -- a big, big factory, they're moving a big plant from Chicago to Mexico. Ford is building a massive building, a massive assembly plant in Mexico.”
Mondelez, which owns Nabisco, (NASDAQ:MDLZ) disclosed details on its $130 million manufacturing expansion in Salinas, Mexico last month which will impact 600 jobs in Chicago. In April, Ford (NYSE:F) announced it plans to invest $2.5 billion for engine emissions plants in Chihuahua and Guanajuato which will create 3,800 jobs in Mexico.
This is not the first time Trump has floated Icahn (who he counts as a friend) as a possible cabinet member should he take the White House. Earlier this summer, Trump said he wanted Icahn to be his Secretary of the Treasury. Initially Icahn declined the offer but changed his tune in a Tweet after Trump’s performance at the FOX News Channel’s GOP Debate in Cleveland.
At the time of publication, Icahn was traveling and could not be reached for comment.