Ames Companies, Inc.
7:10 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody, very much. I appreciate you being here today. Great people outside, you can see that. These are great, great Americans and unbelievable workers. Nobody has better than what we have.
And it’s wonderful to be at Ames — an incredible company with a rich, rich history and a long history. Centuries ago, before our country was even founded — couldn’t believe that one — this company produced the tools that helped to build our nation. Later, Ames Tools would be used at the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Hoover Dam, just to name a few of the monuments within our country.
We believe in “Made in the USA,” and it’s coming back stronger and better and faster than even I thought. You can see that by our great, great workers throughout the plant, and plenty of other plants. But for a long time, our government has sacrificed American companies and workers to unfair foreign competition.
Today, I’m signing two orders to help keep jobs and wealth in our country. First, in fulfillment of a very, very important and major campaign promise I made not far from here last June, I’m directing the Secretary of Commerce, who’s with us — Wilbur, where’s Wilbur? —
SECRETARY ROSS: Right here, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: — Wilbur, a legend — to identify every violation and abuse of our trade agreements, and to use every available measure under the law to end these abuses against our workers. (Applause.) And if they don’t get cleared up, Wilbur will end the trade agreements. Do you agree with that?
SECRETARY ROSS: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Second, I’m establishing the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy within the White House. Its mission will be to defend American workers and companies from those who would steal our jobs and threaten our manufacturing base. (Applause.) Peter Navarro, one of the greats trying to protect our jobs. Right, Peter? Thank you, Peter. Appreciate it.
We’re only 100 days in. It’s been a lot of work, but we’ve loved it. We’ve loved doing it. You know, when you love something, it’s really easy. And we love it. And we’re helping people. We’re helping our workers. And already we’ve created nearly 150,000 new manufacturing and construction jobs, and over 600,000 jobs have already been created. The National Manufacturers survey found the highest level of optimism in the history of a very, very old survey. It’s been around for a long time. It just last week hit the highest point it’s ever hit in the history of the survey. That means they’re looking for action. And we love that.
We’ve taken unprecedented action to bring back American jobs, American wealth, and American dreams. And we are just getting started. So I want to thank Wilbur.
So this is addressing trade agreement violations and abuses. Very powerful. They’re shouting back there because they know exactly what I’m saying.
(Laughter.) They know better than anybody else, believe me.
(The executive order is signed.)
And this is the establishment of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy right out of the White House. And it’s going to have a huge impact on jobs.
(The executive order is signed.)
Wilbur, with your permission, I think what I’m going to do is give this pen to Peter Navarro. Is that okay?
SECRETARY ROSS: Sure. Surely, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Peter, come on over here. (Applause.) Peter Navarro has fought against trade abuse for a long time. And, Peter, this is the first time you’re seeing something happen — all those decades you’ve been fighting.
MR. NAVARRO: It’s been a great 100 days, and lots more to go.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Peter. Great job. Thank you, everybody.
7:15 P.M. EDT