Australia

‘Don Bradman of job creation’: Scott Morrison, Donald Trump visit Pratt-owned paper mill

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Scott Morrison and Donald Trump have opened a new paper mill for billionaire businessman Anthony Pratt.

Scott Morrison, Donald Trump and Australia's cardboard king Anthony Pratt have joined forces to open the businessman's newest factory in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

The opening turned Trump-style rally saw crowds of supporters cheering on US President Trump, Prime Minister Morrison and the billionaire founder of Visy Industries. 

Together the three heaped praise on each other over the creation of manufacturing jobs for the people of Ohio.

President Donald Trump Prime Minister Scott Morrison and billionaire businessman Anthony Pratt.
President Donald Trump Prime Minister Scott Morrison and billionaire businessman Anthony Pratt.
AP

The state is in Mr Trump's heartland and it's no accident Mr Pratt, who has cultivated a close relationship with the president, chose the location to build his biggest paper mill yet.

But it was Scott Morrison who perhaps won the greatest compliment of the campaign-style spectacle.

“He is the Don Bradman of Australian job creation,” businessman Anthony Pratt said of Prime Minister Morrison.

Mr Pratt explained to Mr Trump that cricketer Don Bradman was Australia’s equivalent to Babe Ruth -the legendary New York Yankees baseball player.

“Oh wow,” Mr Trump replied.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison - who the US president dubbed a "man of titanium" when they met at the White House last week - joined Donald Trump and Anthony Pratt to speak to the crowd, many of them wearing Make America Great Again (MAGA) hats.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison started his speech in Wapakoneta with a trademark Australian expression.

“G’day, Ohio! How are you going?”.  

He said the billionaire businessman’s investment showed Australians are committed to keeping their word.

“The thing about Anthony, which is true of all Australians, is we keep our promises, when we make a promise we keep it,” he said.

“When we make a promise to be an alliance, we keep that promise."

President Trump, Prime Minister Morrison and Anthony Pratt tour of Pratt Industries.
President Trump, Prime Minister Morrison and Anthony Pratt tour of Pratt Industries.
AP

"Anthony promised that he would invest in the United States before the election of the president, and the jobs that are here are because this man keeps his promise.”

US President Donald Trump called Anthony Pratt “one of the most successful men in the world.”

He said the investment again proved the “enduring bonds” of the US-Australia alliance.

“Today we restore the might of American manufacturing and that means jobs,” he said.

The opened doubled as a Trump-style rally.
The opened doubled as a Trump-style rally.
AP

“We also strengthen the enduring bonds, between Australia, which is truly a great country, and the United States.”

Mr Pratt said the factory is the largest built by anyone in the United States since President Trump’s election in 2016.

“Mr President if it wasn’t for your presidency this mill would not be here today,” he said.

The visit brings an end to the formal celebrations of the strong alliance.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison toasts President Donald Trump during a State Dinner in the Rose Garden at the White House, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Scott Morrison toasts President Donald Trump during a State Dinner in the Rose Garden.
AP

Mr Morrison spent Friday and Saturday in Washington DC receiving the president and Melania Trump's hospitality and the magnificence of an official state visit.

"It was at the initiation of the president and Mrs Trump to go out of their way to say just how much they value this relationship and that's good news for Australia," the prime minister told reporters in Washington.

He described the state banquet under the stars in the White House Rose Garden as "the most magnificent, spellbinding, magical night crafted out of the imagination of Mrs Trump" and said he became "a bit weepy" when Mr Trump quoted a Mary Gilmore poem.

President Trump Welcomes Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison To The Washington On State Visit
Mr Trump speaks in the Oval Office while meeting with Mr Morrison.
Getty Images

"I heard the start of the poem and I said that's, 'That's aunt Mary's poem! I'll have to tell him that when he's finished'.

"And he ended up telling me, so you know, that's the sort of detail that shows an affection."

After the flying stop in Ohio, Mr Morrison will move on to Chicago, where he is expected to dine with Illinois governor JB Pritzker.

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