3:54 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mike. And you know, Mike, it is true that, as I walked through the halls, we saw so many great companies, but the gentleman who was in charge of Omaha Beef — they do beef — he hugged me, he wanted to kiss me so badly. (Laughter.) Because he said, our business is a whole different business now because you got China approved; the other administrations couldn’t even come close. And I told him, you know how long it took? One sentence. I said, President Xi, we’d love to sell beef back in China again. He said, you can do that. That was the end of that. Right? (Applause.) Sonny. The great Sonny Perdue. (Applause.) So we’re very happy.
But we’re here today to celebrate American manufacturing and to showcase the amazing products from all 50 states, made in the USA. Remember in the old days they used to have “Made in the USA”, “Made in America”? But made in the USA. We’re going to start doing that again. We’re going to put that brand on our product because it means it’s the best.
In just a few months and moments, I will say what we’ve done over a short period of time and what we’re going to be doing over the next six months will be incredible.
We’ve signed more bills — and I’m talking about through the legislature — than any President ever. For a while, Harry Truman had us, and now I think we have everybody, Mike. I better say “think,” otherwise they’ll give me a Pinocchio — (laughter) — and I don’t like those — I don’t like Pinocchios. (Laughter.)
In just a few moments, I’ll be signing a Presidential Proclamation to launch “Made in America Week” and to make today “Made in America Day.”
We are thrilled to be joined today by so many incredible members of my Cabinet. Every member of my administration shares the same goal: to provide a level playing field for American workers and for American industry. (Applause.) And we are providing it much faster than other countries would like. So it’s been really a pleasure.
We want to build, create, and grow more products in our country using American labor, American goods, and American grit. When we purchase products made in the USA, the profits stay here, the revenue stays here, and the jobs — maybe most importantly of all — they stay right here in the USA. (Applause.)
In the audience today we have skilled workers, we have business leaders whose American-made goods we are proudly displaying all over the White House and outside. I saw fire engines. I saw tractors from Caterpillar. I saw some incredible machinery. Make it right here. We thank you for being here. We’re honored to showcase your creations. And I will say, they’ve really taken on, and some of you have built names that I know of for so long. And its — congratulations. Right? You in particular. What a great job you’ve done. Thank you very much. And I saw you on television this morning. You were fantastic. I don’t know what you’re doing, exactly, but you could always have a second career. (Laughter.) You did a great job. Thank you very much.
American workers, farmers, and innovators are really the best in the world — we know that. And what we’re doing [with] that is we’re displaying those talents. You construct and harvest the products that fill our homes, feed our families, and defend our nation, and enrich our lives. I want to make a pledge to each and every one of you: No longer are we going to allow other countries to break the rules, steal our jobs, and drain our wealth — and it has been drained. It has been drained. (Applause.)
You’re going to see a lot of things happening over the next six months — you know, statutorily and through a lot of different legal — through the legal process. It takes a while to get it set so that you’re allowed to do it. You’re not allowed to do, but we’ve now mostly fulfilled all of that. And over the next short period of time, you’re going to see things announced that you won’t even believe for our country and for selling product in our country and making product in our country, and things that are great for American jobs. You’re going to be seeing that happening really quickly because we are totally set up, and the hard part now is done. It is a long, horrible process, but we’re going to also get rid of some of that process for the future. But we’re going to stand up for our companies and, maybe most importantly, for our workers.
For decades, Washington has allowed other nations to wipe out millions of American jobs through unfair trade practices. Wait until you see what’s up for you. You are going to be so happy. This painful exodus of American jobs — and I’ve been talking about it for years — was also marked by a period of sluggish growth, falling incomes, surging welfare, and shrinking participation in the workforce. Clearly, it’s time for a new policy — one defined by two simple rules: We will buy American and we will hire American. Right, Governor? (Applause.)
My administration is removing the burdens and regulations on your companies so that you can compete, thrive, and grow. How many of you have noticed this so far? Because it’s a big, big difference, right? That’s a big, big difference. The people are coming up to me — they can’t even believe it. We took the farmer’s land away. We took the homebuilder’s land away. They have their land back now, and they’re building homes and they’re farming their farms, and it’s a beautiful thing to see. And they’re so thankful.
So a lot of those regulations have been taken off; the rest are coming off. And, by the way, we will have better protection than we’ve ever had, but we’ll also have something where you don’t have to wait 15 years for a permit and then when you go to the board, you lose. And that’s a big portion of your life wiped out waiting for a permit. We’re not going to let that happen.
But for our nation to really prosper, we must lower the tax on business — one of the highest in the world — and we must repeal job-killing Obamacare. We have to do that. (Applause.) And I can tell you, we hope John McCain gets better very soon because we miss him. He’s a crusty voice in Washington. Plus, we need his vote. (Laughter.) And he’ll be back. And he will be back sooner than somebody else would be back. He’ll be back soon.
But we need that vote. And we need a number of votes because we do have to repeal Obamacare, and we will end up replacing it with something that is going to be outstanding — far, far better than failing Obamacare where premiums have gone up, in some cases over 200 percent this year; where every single element of it is bad, and the insurance companies, by the way, are fleeing, so people have — in some states you have no insurance companies.
And we have some governors here, and we have senators here, and we have congressmen here, and women — and I will tell you, it’s a very, very hard time they’re having with the Obamacare situation. So we’re going to get that done, and I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people. But they’re pushing very hard. The Republican senators are great people, but they have a lot of different states. Some states need this, some states need that. But we’re getting it together, and it’s going to happen. Right, Mike?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: I think. (Laughter and applause.) And when it does happen, that will be a big day in America, believe me. A big day in America.
But we must also fight the unfair trade practices that have gutted our industry, and that includes cracking down on the predatory online sales of foreign goods, which is absolutely killing our shoppers and our shopping centers. If you look at what’s going on with shopping centers and stores and jobs in stores, it’s been very, very tough for them. They’ve had a very hard time. Closing at numbers and records that have never been seen before. So we have to stop that — the online predatory practices.
Since the beginning of the year, we have already created over 50,000 brand-new manufacturing jobs, and we’re just getting started. We will lift our citizens from welfare to work. We will turn boarded-up communities into new outposts of American commerce. And we will once again rediscover our heritage as a manufacturing nation. We used to be a manufacturing nation. Not so much anymore. But I will tell you, if you look at Michigan, if you look at some states that have really moved — you know, in Pennsylvania, two weeks ago they opened the mine — the first mine that was opened in decades. Opened a mine.
And you know all the people that were saying the mining jobs? Well, we picked up 45,000 mining jobs in a very short period of time. And everybody was saying, well, you won’t get any mining jobs. We picked up 45,000 mining jobs, and the miners are very happy with Trump and with Pence. And we’re very proud of that. But that’s just the beginning. We have jobs coming from all over.
Restoring American manufacturing will not only restore our wealth, it will restore our pride and pride in ourselves. It will revitalize our independence, and it will rebuild the bonds of kinship between our communities and our citizens, which has been lagging, wouldn’t you say?
For most of our nation’s history, American — and we see this — American Presidents have understood that in order to protect our economy and our security, we must protect our industry. And much of that comes at the border. George Washington encouraged Americans to produce their own goods so that our young nation could become truly independent.
President James Garfield said, of our nation’s manufacturers, that, “to them the country owes the splendor of the position it holds before the world” — meaning, protect us.
Theodore Roosevelt declared in his first message to Congress that “reciprocity” — my favorite word, reciprocity — because we have countries that charge us 100 percent tax on a product, and when that product is sold by them to us, we brilliantly charge them nothing. And people say, oh, that’s free trade. No, that’s stupid trade. That’s really stupid trade. (Applause.)
It’s incredible. You’ll actually have people who — “No, we can’t do that. That’s free trade.” It’s just — that’s so incredible, but what are you going to do. (Laughter.) Oh, what happens in Washington, you just wouldn’t believe the things.
But “reciprocity must be treated as the handmaiden of protection.” And William McKinley proclaimed that “we ought to take care of our own nation and her industries first.” We have to look at our nation first for a change. We’ve been looking the other way for a long, long time. And if you look at what’s going on or the success of other nations — even in Europe — you look at some of those countries, one in particular, it’s not fair to the United States.
And that’s why I’m here, and I believe it’s one of the primary reasons you elected me and Mike. I mean, that’s why we’re here. And I think you’re going to see a big, big — I don’t think — I don’t think — I know you’re going to see one of the great differences, and you’re already seeing it, but it’s going to get more so and more so. And we’re going to end up having a level playing field.
I don’t want to say any more than level. But if the playing field were slanted like a little bit toward us, I’d accept that also. Okay? (Applause.)
So, once again, we will celebrate craftsmen, producers, and innovators like the incredible men and women in this room today. We will protect our workers, promote our industry, and be proud of our history because we will put America first. America will be first again. We will make America great again. Remember that. (Applause.) And we’ll meet in this same room in a year and in two years, and you’ll see what happened.
Thank you for all being here. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you, thank you. (Applause.)
(The President moves to the signing desk.)
So this is being signed in honor of Made in America Day and Made in America Week, and soon we’re going to have Made in America Decades. We’re going to have a lot of tremendous success, and it’s already just starting to kick in.
You see it with the job numbers. You see it with the stock market, which hit an all-time high every day for quite a while now. You see it with so many other things. And most importantly perhaps, you see it with the manufacturers. Their level of enthusiasm is greater now than at any time since they’ve been taking this type of poll, and I believe it’s 28 years old. So people are enthused. Are you all enthused? (Applause.)
Thank you all for being here.
(The document is signed.)
4:07 P.M. EDT