6:35 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, a lot of people don’t tell you about Anthony, but I’ll tell you about Anthony. He is the most successful man in Australia. (Applause.)
And he said, “I’m going to come here and I’m going to spend $10 billion if you win the election.” And I won the election. And I said, “Come on, Anthony. What’s happening here?” And he’s going to — he’s spent $2 billion. And he’s spending a lot of more — a lot more money and he’s a great man. And he’s my friend and I appreciate it. Thank you, Anthony. (Applause.)
And also, thank you for that warm welcome. Thank you for your tremendous investment in America and the hardworking patriots of Ohio. He’s very happy. They said — this force — I said, “How are they? Are they as good as I think you said?” “Even better.” (Applause.) That doesn’t always happen. That doesn’t always happen. (Applause.)
I especially want to recognize and thank Claudine, who has worked with my company for a long time. She’s a dynamo. She’s an incredible talent. And when I found out she was with Anthony, I said, “Wow. That’s a combination that cannot be beat.” Where is Claudine? Claudine, thank you. (Applause.) That’s an impossible combination to beat. (Applause.) Good.
We’re profoundly grateful to be joined today by one of America’s greatest friends and most loyal allies — somebody that’s become a very good friend of mine. We had an unbelievable event at the White House; you probably saw it on Friday. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (Applause.)
And he recently won the election in Australia. Some of you know. And it was supposed to be close and he blew them away — (applause) — because he believes a lot of the same things I believe, I guess. That helps. (Applause.) He blew them away. He’s a great gentleman and they love him in Australia and they now love him in the United States of America, too. (Applause.) Thank you for being with us. It’s a great evening.
Thanks also to Ambassador Arthur Culvahouse. Way to go. You made it. You made it. My friend. (Applause.) And his Australian counterpart, Ambassador Joe Hockey. Thank you, Joe. (Applause.) Tough cookie, Joe is. Right? I hear that.
We’re honored to be joined by two great champions for Ohio workers: Senator Rob Portman and Congressman Jim Jordan. (Applause.) Where are they? Thank you, Jane. Thank you very much. Jim. No, how would I do wrestling Jim — 128 and 1? I don’t know. (Laughter.) I’m bigger than he is. I don’t know, Jim. You could have —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, President Trump.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)
Thank you, Rob. I appreciate you being here. I appreciate it. Jim, thank you very much.
And finally, thank you to General Manager Ed Kersey and everyone at Pratt Industries. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
This is a very special occasion. Today, we celebrate the extraordinary economic partnership between our nations and we proudly declare that Pratt Industries and this great, great state of Ohio is open for business. (Applause.) Open for business.
And Pratt has pledged, as I said, to invest many billions of dollars in the United States. It’s okay if you come back to Ohio. You know, you can keep coming back here. Do you — I think we want him back. He’ll do another couple of plants. (Applause.)
And it’s been an incredible victory having Anthony and the whole Pratt Industries here. But it’s been really a victory for American workers, American manufacturing, and American jobs. We love jobs. (Applause.)
When this plant is fully operational, hundreds of Ohio workers will have full-time jobs with quality healthcare, retirement benefits, and really great wages. You guys are all getting good wages, I guess, right? Good? Huh? (Applause.) They say “yes.” They’re so happy you could probably reduce them a little bit, Anthony. (Laughs.) No, we’re only — we’re only kidding. We’re only kidding.
But I’m especially excited to announce that one in four workers at this plant is a veteran — a great American veteran. (Applause.) Right?
MR. PRATT: Yeah.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right? (Applause.) He knows what he is doing. Nobody like our vets. We love those vets. Thank you, fellas. Thank you very much. Thank you all.
Every year, you will recycle discarded paper into 400,000 tons of high-quality new paper and more than 300 million boxes — all without cutting down a single tree. Not a single tree comes down. (Applause.) I was asking Anthony how many plants are those — what percentage of paper is made this way, and it’s less than 20 percent — growing all the time, but less than 20 percent. And so this is really cutting-edge stuff. And that’s really great.
Proving that we can protect our environment and grow our economy at the same time. With Pratt’s new facility, our historic investment in the — and you remember this — the Lima Army Tank Plant. Remember I came and it was supposed to close down — (applause) — before the election? I came up, Anthony, and it was really something. Scott, they had this incredible plant that made Army tanks — the Abrams tanks, right? Abrams. The best tank in the world — known as the best tank in the world. And they were going to close it.
And I came up, I said, “Why are we going to close it? You’ll never be able to rebuild a thing like this.” And then we got a lot of budgets. We won the election. And our military budget is $700 billion, $716 billion, and then $738 billion. And we’re buying a lot of those Abrams tanks and we’re also selling them to allies all over the world.
And that’s one of the busiest plants we have anywhere in the country. And if we would have closed it down, you could have never gotten the people to do tanks like that — the talent in that place. And I don’t even know what it was; it was instinct. Because everybody said, “We’re going to close it down. We’re going to save about three dollars.” (Laughter.) Not too good, right?
As Anthony mentioned, over the next decade, Pratt Industries is creating 5,000 new jobs in the United States. This massive new investment is made possible by the historic tax cuts and tax credits that we signed into law. We lowered our business tax from the highest anywhere in the developed world to one that is extremely competitive — even really considered pretty low — meaning a lot of companies, like from Australia and other places are coming over.
Since then, American companies have brought nearly $1 trillion back to our shores. And that’s 1 trillion dollars’ worth of jobs. So it’s great. (Applause.)
And just in concluding, our message is clear: There has never been a better time to hire, invest, build, and grow in the United States of America. Every day, we’re seeing more products roll off the assembly line stamped with that beautiful grouping of words: “Made in the USA.” Remember? “Made in the USA.” (Applause.) “Made in the USA.”
Do you like better “Made in the USA” or “Made in America”? What do you like? “Made in the USA”? Go ahead. “Made in the USA.” (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think that’s it. “Made in the USA.” I love those little polls. They cost me nothing, and we learn a lot. (Laughter.) It’s like, “Which hat do you like better? MAGA — Make America Great Again — or Keep America Great?” Look at all of these “Keep America Great.” Wow. Wow. It’s going to be “Keep America Great” and that’s — believe it or not, but we’re never getting rid of “MAGA.” We never leave. You’ll buy that if you want. You’ll get it. We’ll give it to you. We’ll do whatever we have to do, but “Make America Great Again” — we’ll never forget that phrase, will we? Huh? We’ll never forget that phrase.
Foreign-owned companies invested an additional $250 billion in America last year alone, including more than $3 billion from your great country, Mr. Prime Minister. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Australia went $3 billion.
When I ran for President, I promised to fight for Ohio jobs and Ohio workers, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. And right now, you’ve got the lowest unemployment you’ve ever had. You have the most successful state that you’ve ever had. And Jim Jordan and Rob and everybody have been incredible. And I want to thank you. I want to thank all of the — (applause) — political folks that are with us. You’ve been great. Most successful year you’ve ever had.
Companies around the world are realizing there’s nowhere they’d rather be than right here in the American Heartland, and there is no worker more skilled than the American worker. Although, Scott hasn’t finished his speech yet. I think he may be debating, but that’s okay. We’ll accept that.
These investments are part of an economic revival, Scott, that’s been absolutely incredible. People didn’t have jobs. They were incredible, but they were taking — we call them the “forgotten men and forgotten women.” And you’re not forgotten anymore, I will tell you. You’re not forgotten anymore. Setting records. (Applause.)
Since the election, we’ve created more than 6 million new jobs. We’ve created nearly 90,000 new jobs right here in Ohio, and almost one quarter of those jobs are in the manufacturing, which everybody said will never come back to the United States. They said — a previous administration, a certain administration said, “They’ll never come back. You’d need a magic wand.” I’m sure you don’t remember that, folks. I remember.
More than 7 million Americans have been lifted off of food stamps in the United States — (applause) — since our election. And last month alone, nearly 600,000 people — think of that, 600,000 people — joined our workforce. (Applause.)
In the last year, the average worker has seen way over 100 — well, just listen to this one: In the last year, you’re over 1,000 dollars, but the number is as high as 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 dollars extra in the pocket. Thirteen straight months of wage growth of at least 3 percent. That hasn’t happened for many years.
I used to speak and I used to say that — this is two and a half, three years ago, during the campaign — I’d say that people made more money 21 years ago working one job than they did working two and three jobs just three years ago. And now those wages are going up.
And more importantly, you’re able to go and find jobs. If you don’t like it here, if you don’t like it someplace, you can go around and you can go find — everybody is looking and they’re paying. And it hasn’t been like this for 25 years at least.
Unemployment claims in Ohio have reached the lowest they’ve been in 41 years. And African American, Hispanic American, Asian American unemployment have reached the lowest levels ever recorded. African American and Hispanic American poverty rates also reached the all-time low records in the history of our country.
Today, as we restore the might of American manufacturing — and that means jobs to me — we also strengthen the enduring bonds between Australia, which is truly a great country, and the United States. (Applause.)
Australia is one of our most important allies and trading partners, with more than $65 billion in trade between our nations last year. And I believe we’re the largest investor in Australia by quite a bit. We invest a lot of money in Australia. It’s an incredible — incredible people to deal with.
Unlike so many other nations, Australia upholds the principles of fair and reciprocal trade. For this reason, America is committed to further growing, expanding, and strengthening, Scott, our trade and commerce relationships between the United States and Australia.
And, Mr. Prime Minister, I want to thank you for your commitment to fair trade policies that bring vast benefits and jobs to both of our countries. Because that’s what’s happened — both of countries. (Applause.)
And here in Ohio, we see the shining example of the wonderful future we can build together — a future where proud, independent nations uplift each other and the world by uplifting their own citizens. A future where our families are prospering, our communities are thriving like never before, our economies are booming, our confidence is soaring, our citizens are proud, and our nations are greater than ever before.
And I can say it for us, but I can also say that Australia — Australia right now is greater than it’s ever been before. So I want to thank you, Anthony, for everything you’ve done and Pratt Industries. What a great investment. He is definitely a man of his word. He said, “I’d do it.” And he did it. (Applause.) And he’s going to do more. (Applause.)
And I want to thank Prime Minister Morrison for being my friend and being a great friend to the United States of America. He’s a great man and a great leader. Please say a few words, Scott. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
PRIME MINISTER MORRISON: Thank you. Thank you.
Well, thank you, Mr. President. Donald, it’s wonderful to be here with you in Ohio. Good day, Ohio. How are you? You good? (Applause.)
Can I also acknowledge veterans who are here today? Put your hand up if you’re a veteran here today. Thank you for your service — (applause) — not just to the United States, but to the great alliance between Australia and the United States.
Senator Rob Portman, Jim Jordan, it was great to see you guys here today. Ambassadors Hockey and Culvahouse, you guys are doing a tremendous job.
But to Anthony Pratt and the whole Pratt enterprise here, and to Ed, well done on a fabulous investment and project here. (Applause.)
It’s great to be here — now, it’s great to be here in Wapakoneta. Is that right? Is that close? (Applause.) Wapakoneta. Now, you’d think I’d do a little bit better than that. Now, I understand permitting the Aussies who are already here and down in the front here — Andrew, Brian, Alan, Edward, and Martin — they’re all here. And they told me this is called “Wapak.” Is that right? (Applause.) There you go. “Wapak.” But you’d think I’d get it a bit better because we’ve got Wakka Wakka, Wollongong, Wallerawang, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, Woolloomooloo. (Laughter.) So, you know, “Wapak” — that fits right in. This is a bit of Australia right here in Ohio, I reckon. (Applause.) It’s a bit of Australia here.
Now, as the President was saying, the economy is so important. If you don’t have a strong economy, well, there’s so many other things you can’t do. You can’t invest in the things that matter to people. People don’t get jobs. And to have a strong economy and what we’re seeing built here is just so exciting.
The President and I are here today because we believe in jobs. We believe in the way that jobs transform lives — how jobs give people choices. People are raising families, doing the right thing — building their communities; putting their kids through school; helping their neighbors; putting aside money for their retirement. Jobs is what creates those choices and opportunities. So what we’re celebrating here is jobs.
Now, there’s a very famous American that’s come out of this wonderful town. You all know who it is: Neil Armstrong. (Applause.) A great American. And unemployment in the United States has not been as low as it is since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. (Applause.)
That is an amazing achievement, Mr. President. The lowest unemployment rate we’ve seen in the United States for a very, very long time. And the reason it’s happening is because people are investing. They’re investing in policies that are reducing taxes like they are in my own country. They’re investing in policies, which is seeing their economies grow, and people can see things happening, and they want to be part of what is happening.
And that’s what Anthony has seen right here in Ohio. Anthony is a wonderful Australian who has taken a good company to a great company. You might say a company as strong as steel to a company as strong as titanium, Mr. President. This is a great Australian who is building an even greater company, and a company that is investing both in the United States and, of course, in Australia.
Twenty-seven states he now is in. Seventy factories. But the thing of it, Anthony, which is true of all Australians, is we keep our promises. When we make a promise, we keep it. When we make a promise to be an alliance, we keep that promise. And Anthony promised that he would invest in the United States with the election of the President and the jobs that are here, and because this man keeps his promise. (Applause.)
So, Mr. President, thank you for the opportunity to be here today. Thank you for the opportunity for Australia and the United States to work together in the way we do — not just an alliance based on security and our defense forces, but an economic partnership where together we’re making jobs great again. Cheers. (Applause.)
6:54 P.M. EDT