Trump vows "major" border taxes for businesses leaving the US and puts pharmaceuticals in crosshairs

 
Mark Sands
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Trump will be inaugurated as US president on 20 January (Source: Getty)

President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to install "major" taxes on US businesses relocating outside of the country, and fired a warning shot across the bows of the pharmaceuticals sector.

Speaking at a press conference in New York, the President-elect laid out plans to punish businesses that opt to relocate outside of the country and attempt to sell their goods in the US.

"[You think] you're going to build that plant in Mexico and you're going to make your air conditioners or cars, and you're going to sell it through what will be a very strong border...that's not going to happen. You're going to pay a very large border tax," Trump said.

In wide-ranging opening comments, Trump identified the pharmaceuticals sector as a particular concern.

"Our drug industry has gotten disastrous. They're leaving left and right."

And Trump put the sector on warning, saying the pharmaceuticals businesses were "getting away with murder" on drug pricing.

Read More: Trump's comments just hit pharma shares on both sides of the pond

The President-elect also moved to silence concerns over a conflict of interest with his businesses by placing his entire empire into a trust.

Trump runs more than 500 companies operating across the world, but his attorney Sheri Dillon said today that control would be handed over to his two sons, Eric and Donald jr.

"My two sons...are going to be running the company. They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They're not going to be discussing it with me."

Dillon said the President-elect "wants to completely isolate himself", adding that profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels to the US Treasury.

Read More: Can we rule out a trade war between China and the US?

The President-elect also hit out over "nonsense" reports which emerged overnight, suggesting that US intelligence services briefed both Trump and president Barack Obama over concerns that Russia had gathered compromising material relating to the president-elect.

Trump immediately branded the coverage "fake news" and used his press conference today to double down, arguing it would be "a tremendous blot" on the record of the US intelligence services if they had leaked information of the briefing to the press.

"It should never have been released. But I read what was released, and I think it's a disgrace," Trump said,

And for the reality TV star, there was only one way to wrap up his TV conference. What would he say to his sons if they failed in running his businesses?

"You're fired."

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