Trump Meets Lotte Chief and Hails New Louisiana Plant

  • By Lee Sung-hoon

    May 15, 2019 13:23

    U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday met with Lotte chief Shin Dong-bin and hailed the Korean-Japanese conglomerate's new plant in the depressed state of Louisiana.

    "Great to welcome Chairman Shin from Lotte Group to the [White House]. They just invested $3.1 BILLION into Louisiana." Trump also posted a photo of their meeting at the Oval Office.

    Lotte built an ethane-cracking plant in the southern U.S. state to produce ethylene using shale gas. Trump also tweeted an hour after the meeting, "biggest investment in U.S. EVER from a South Korean company & thousands more jobs for Americans. Great partners like [South Korea] know the U.S. economy is running stronger than ever!"

    Lotte chairman Shin Dong-bin (right) talks to U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington on Monday in this photo tweeted by the president.

    This is the first time a Korean business leader met one-on-one with Trump at the White House. The U.S. president is keen to show off his efforts in bringing business back to America.

    Lotte proposed the meeting and Trump invited Shin to the White House. It lasted for about 30 minutes and Shin thanked Trump for the support he received from the U.S. government and dangled future investment plans in front of Trump as well.

    Shin has been meeting with the leaders of several countries as part of the group's global expansion drive now its operations in China are on their last leg. He visited Vietnam last year and met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. He then traveled to Indonesia to meet with President Joko Widodo.

    The Lotte chairman is desperate to make up for lost business opportunities due to the unofficial Chinese boycott and time lost while he was jailed for bribing ex-President Park Geun-hye.

    "Shin's appearance with Trump marks a significant rebound for the retail-to-chemicals Korean giant, whose operations and ambitions have been hampered in the past couple of years by a graft scandal and geopolitical backlash in China," Bloomberg wrote.

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