11:11 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. That’s beautiful music. Such talented musicians, and we appreciate it very much.
We have a tremendous — (applause) — we have a tremendous list of people here today. In fact, so long that if I announced every name, we’d be here for about three hours. (Laughter.) And we have to get back to business. Everybody does.
Please sit down. Please.
But I want to thank everybody for coming — coming to the White House on this very momentous, historic, and joyous occasion. It’s been a long time. Everybody said this was a deal that could not be done. “Too complicated, too big. It couldn’t be done.” We got it done.
And today, we’re finally ending the NAFTA nightmare and signing into law the brand-new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. (Applause.) Very special. Very, very special.
The USMCA is the largest, fairest, most balanced, and modern trade agreement ever achieved. There’s never been anything like it. Other countries are now looking at it, but there can’t be a border like that because, believe it or not, that is by far the biggest border anywhere in the world, in terms of economy, in terms of people. There’s nothing even close.
This is a colossal victory for our farmers, ranchers, energy workers, factory workers, and American workers in all 50 states and, you could almost say, beyond — because it’s all beyond. This is all over the world even though it’s at one beautiful border — where, by the way, a very major powerful wall is, right now, being built. (Laughter.) Okay? I don’t know if I should say that at this particular reading. I know last night it got a very big hand. (Laughter.) Today, they’re a little bit like, “Are we supposed to clap now?” (Laughter.)
The USMCA is estimated to add another 1.2 percent to our GDP and create countless new American jobs. It will make our blue-collar boom — which is beyond anybody’s expectation — even bigger, stronger, and more extraordinary, delivering massive gains for the loyal citizens of our nation.
For the first time in American history, we have replaced a disastrous trade deal that rewarded outsourcing with a truly fair and reciprocal trade deal that will keep jobs, wealth, and growth right here in America. (Applause.) And, in a true sense, it’s also a partnership with Mexico and Canada and ourselves against the world. It’s really a trade partnership, if you look at it that way. And it’s a day of great celebration in all three countries.
I want to thank our amazing Vice President, Mike Pence, who helped us so much with the deal. (Applause.)
And our sincerest appreciation to Ambassador Robert Lighthizer and Jared Kushner and Steve Mnuchin — (applause) — and all of these incredible people for the job you’ve done. (Applause.) Like I said, they said it couldn’t be done.
Welcome also to many members of Congress who were key to getting the deal done, including Senator Grassley. Where is Chuck? Where is Chuck? Oh. Oh, he was brutal. (Applause.) He would call me; he would say, “How is it going? How is it going?” And with Chuck, you just don’t mess around. You said, “We’ll get it done. Don’t worry.” Thank you, Senator, very much.
And Pat Roberts, Martha McSally.
And I want to just, if I could, mention — because we do have some incredible people that worked so hard, and — senators. And maybe I’m being just nice to them because I want their vote. Does that make sense? (Laughter.) I don’t want to leave anybody out. Hey, congressmen, I already got your vote — 196 to nothing. The hell with you. (Laughter.) I think I have to mention some senators that are here.
But Marsha Blackburn, who’s been so — where’s Marsha Blackburn? Marsha, great. Marsha Blackburn. (Applause.) Great state of Tennessee.
Roy Blunt. Thank you, Roy. Thank you, Roy.
John Boozman. Thank you, John. Thank you very much. Great job.
Mike Braun. He’s become a big fixture on television and doing a great job.
Shelley Moore Capito. Thank you. West Virginia. (Applause.) Great place.
Senator Bill Cassidy. Senator, thank you very much. (Applause.)
John Cornyn. Thank you, John. (Applause.) Your poll numbers are looking good, John. (Laughter.) Very, very good. You don’t have to worry about Beto either, do you, John? (Laughter.)
A great young gentleman, and he’s been with us right from the beginning: Senator Tom Cotton. Where is Tom? (Applause.) Thank you, Tom. Thank you, Tom.
Kevin Cramer. (Applause.) Thank you, Kevin.
Ted Cruz. Boy, has he been — where is Ted? Boy, oh, boy. (Applause.) And he’s dying to get back there and ask those questions. I know. (Laughter.) He said, “Let me out of here, President. I want to ask those questions.” He’s got some beauties, I’ll bet. Thank you, Ted, for everything. You’ve been incredible.
Steve Daines. My friend from the beginning. Thank you, Steve. (Applause.)
Joni Ernst. Joni Ernst. That was a team — the tag team, with Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst. It was impossible. I just say, “Just tell them I’m not in, please.” (Laughter.)
Senator Deb Fischer. Terrific person. (Applause.) Terrific person.
Lindsey Graham. Where is Lindsey? He may be having a news conference right now. He’s working on something. He said, “I’m going over to a news conference!” I said, “You know what? I’d rather have you at the news conference. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it.”
A young, brilliant guy who’s done incredibly well and respected by everybody: Senator Josh Hawley. Josh, tremendous. (Applause.) I think he’s another one. He doesn’t want to come over here right now.
Where’s John Hoeven? John? You have been so great. Thank you, John.
(Applause.) John Hoeven.
Senator James Lankford. (Applause.) He is a terrific person. We’re just together on a very special day. Right, James?
Kelly Loeffler. Kelly? Congratulations, Kelly. (Applause.) Really great. They already like you a lot. That’s what the word is. Thank you, Kelly.
Martha McSally. (Applause.) Good, Martha. Great.
Jerry Moran. Jerry? Thank you, Jerry. (Applause.) Did a great job in a lot of different ways.
And another one is James Risch. James? Fantastic job you do. (Applause.)
And Mike Rounds. Where is Mike? Mike, thank you. (Applause.) He’s always there — Mike. He’s fantastic.
Tim Scott. Mr. Opportunity Zone. And I think he’s over there fighting. He’s saying, “Just read the transcripts.” That’s what he’s saying. He’s great.
Thom Tillis, who’s doing pretty well, is what I’m understanding. Thom Tillis. (Applause.) Where is Thom? Yep.
And Roger Wicker. By the way, is there anybody — thank you, Roger. Roger.
Is there anybody I didn’t introduce? I would like to apologize immediately.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Rick Scott.
THE PRESIDENT: Where’s Rick? Where’s Rick? He’s been one of the greats. Oh, I figured he was over there. Rick, why are you not over there, Rick? (Laughter.) Rick Scott has been so incredible. Great Governor of Florida. A great, great governor, and now he’s a great senator. (Applause.) Thank you very much.
The rest of you I don’t have to bother with. (Laughter.) I’m sorry. You know the way it works in life, right? Right, Ivanka? That’s the way it works in life. I’m trying to teach here, but she could actually teach me.
Well, I want to really thank all of those people. And also with us is Kevin McCarthy and Kevin Brady and Mike Conaway and Vern Buchanan and Steve Scalise. They’ve been incredible from day one. (Applause.) And, literally, a hundred other wonderful congressmen and women. We appreciate you being here. And, Kevin, congratulations on your big victory yesterday. That was incredible. And he’s also a tremendous fundraiser — not that that matters. We don’t even think about that. But that was a big — a big victory you had yesterday. Thank you very much.
Also here are many of the state and local leaders, including a really good friend of mine, somebody that is going to get that pipeline through and approved and finished: Pete Ricketts of Nebraska. Where is Pete? (Applause.) Pete, thank you very much.
And a special man and a very popular governor and a very capable governor who’s done an incredible job, and he’s been a tremendous supporter of all of us: Greg Abbott of Texas. (Applause.) Thank you, Greg. Great job. Great job you did.
We’re very grateful for the close partnership and cooperation with Prime Minister Trudeau and for our incredible friendship and the relationship that we’ve developed with President López Obrador.
We’re honored to be joined by Acting Ambassador Hillman from Canada, Ambassador Bárcena of Mexico, Mexican Undersecretary Seade, Mexican Minister of Economy Márquez, and Mexican Foreign Minister Ebrard. They were really great people. We got to know them very well. This was a long negotiation, complex. Spent a lot of time with them. Thank you very much for being here. (Applause.)
And I want to say that I have our great Cabinet right up here. But I’m not sure. I don’t know — Ted, should I introduce the Cabinet? You want to get back, right? Let’s forget it. (Laughter.) My Cabinet is great — every one of them. Every one of them, they’re fantastic. (Applause.) They are fantastic and we appreciate it very much. You’ve done a great job. Getting good credits for what you’re doing, and we really appreciate it. Really fantastic.
After NAFTA’s adoption more than 25 years ago, the United States lost nearly one-fourth of all of its manufacturing jobs, including more than one in five vehicle manufacturing jobs. Think of that: one in five jobs lost so needlessly.
Thousands of factories were shuttered, millions of manufacturing jobs were destroyed, and entire communities were devastated, from Ohio to Pennsylvania, Michigan to Maine, and California to North Carolina. Devastated.
Two decades of politicians ran for office vowing to replace the NAFTA — and this was a catastrophe: the NAFTA catastrophe. Yet once elected, they never even tried. They never even gave it a shot. They sold out. But I’m not like those other politicians, I guess, in many ways. I keep my promises, and I’m fighting for the American worker. And we’re all fighting for the American worker. Everybody here is fighting for the American worker.
This agreement is a tremendous breakthrough for American agriculture. Canada will finally provide greater access for American dairy. Canada is opening up. It will grow annual exports to our neighbors by an estimated $315 million. Poultry exports to Canada are expected to rise by at least 50 percent, and egg export could increase by 500 percent. Where is the Canadian folks? Where are they? (Applause.) You guys did a good job on us before this deal, I’ll tell you.
(Laughter.) That’s — Canada was very tough. But they’re good. They’re our friends, so we appreciate it.
Very importantly, Canada will finally give fair treatment to American-grown wheat.
The USMCA is also a massive win for American manufacturers and autoworkers. Under NAFTA, companies were given huge incentives to produce cars in foreign countries and ship them to America tax-free. No tax, no nothing. We lost our jobs, we closed our factories, and other countries built our cars. But we’ve changed that. And we’re now setting records.
The USMCA closes these terrible loopholes and includes strong provisions to ensure that new cars are fashioned by American hands — that’s a fancy word of saying “built” — and manufactured with American labor. We have some of the great labor leaders here, right now. I think James Hoffa. Where is James Hoffa? James? Thank you very much, James. (Applause.) It’s great. Thank you, James, very much. It’s great.
Fiat Chrysler is already investing $4.5 billion and creating 6,500 new jobs in Michigan, and opening up the first new Detroit plant in more than 30 years. (Applause.) And we have a lot of them happening. (Applause.)
Ford is putting in $1.5 billion and creating 3,000 new jobs, while GM is investing $2.2 billion and creating 2,200 new jobs in Michigan to build vehicles of the future. And I believe we have the Chairman and President and the bosses of those two companies. Please, Mary. Where is Mary? Mary Barra, thank you very much. (Applause.)
And, Ford, thank you very much. We appreciate it. What a great job. Please stand. Come on. For that kind of money — anything over $2 billion, you’re allowed to stand. (Laughter.) Anything over $2 billion; otherwise, we don’t have you stand. (Laughter.) Thank you. Thank you both very much.
Steel Dynamics is building a 1.9 billion-dollar flat roll steel mill near Corpus Christi. And international automakers are pouring $25 billion into the United States, creating 50,000 new American jobs at a minimum. They are all investing in a future where we buy, hire, and drive American cars again. I like that. It’s a very important part of the deal. (Applause.)
Mexico and Canada have agreed to new labor protections that my administration negotiated. The USMCA is the first trade deal in nearly two decades, endorsed by the AF of L-CIO. Thank you very much. Great. That was great. Thank you. (Applause.)
The USMCA contains critical protections for intellectual property, including trade secrets, digital services, and financial services. It establishes new standards and safeguards protecting the environment. And currency stability — something that has been on my mind for a lot of years, long before I got here. What they’ve done to us with currency is crazy.
It includes protections for American-made fibers, yarns, and fabrics, boosting the U.S. textile industry by numbers that you won’t even believe. You’ll see them soon.
This is a cutting-edge, state-of-the-art agreement that protects, defends, and serves the great people of our country.
Thanks to our pro-worker, pro-American economic policies, unemployment is at the lowest level in more than 50 years. It’s great. (Applause.)
And we’ve created, in a very short period of time, a number that nobody would’ve believed. If I ever said it during the campaign, they wouldn’t have believed. The estimate was 2 million. The most you could do was 2 million. We’ve created over 7 million new jobs up until this point. (Applause.) Over 7 million new jobs.
Nobody would’ve believed that.
Real median household income is now the highest level ever recorded — history of our country, ever recorded. More Americans are working today than have ever worked in the history of our country. We’re up to almost 160 million people working. We’ve never even come close to a number like that.
We have the hottest economy on Earth. Other countries come to see me in the Oval Office, and the first thing they say is, “What are you doing with your economy?” They try to copy us. Many have copied us, and it hasn’t worked so well for them, to put it mildly. We’re — we are doing better than any country anywhere in the world, and it’s not even close.
Millions of extraordinary men and women strengthen our country every day in factories and warehouses, fields and farms, mills and stockyards, all across this magnificent land. Their work and devotion and drive inspires our people and powers our nation.
Together, we’re building a glorious future that is raised, grown, built, and made right here in the glorious USA.
I would now like to invite Vice President Pence and Ambassador Lighthizer to say a few words. They worked very hard on the agreement.
And I’m just going to finish off saying that this is something we really put our heart into. It’s probably the number-one reason that I decided to lead this crazy life that I’m leading right now, as opposed to that beautiful, simple life of luxury that I led before this happened. (Laughter.)
But I love doing it. And the reason I love doing it is that nobody, in a period of three years, has done so much as all of us have. Nobody. There’s never been an administration that has done what we’ve done in the first three years.
(Applause.) That means we’re doing great things for the people of our country and beyond the people of our country. And it’s a real honor to be involved and to have helped so many people. A real honor.
And it’s an honor to have all of you with us. Thank you very much.
Mike, please say a few words. (Applause.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.) Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, members of Cabinet, and especially Ambassador Bob Lighthizer, governors, members of the Senate, members of the House of Representatives, leaders from businesses large and small across America, and all the hardworking Americans that are here and are looking on: This is a great day for American workers and American farmers because, Mr. President, thanks to your leadership, NAFTA ends today and a new era of jobs and growth begins under the USMCA. (Applause.)
Mr. President, as a candidate and as our President, you said we could get this economy moving again. And with the support of the members of Congress gathered here, we cut taxes for working families and businesses large and small. We rolled back regulation. You unleashed American energy.
But, Mr. President, you also challenged our party and the American people to think in new ways about international trade. And the American economy is booming. As you just said, more than 7 million jobs created; unemployment at a 50-year low. And I know what means most to you is that wages are rising across the board but they’re rising most rapidly for hardworking, blue-collar Americans. (Applause.)
Mr. President, today you’ll sign the largest trade deal in American history. And today, thanks to your leadership, we’ll leave behind the failed policies of the past and have a new trade deal that will benefit every American.
As a son of the Heartland, let me say: I couldn’t be more grateful for your leadership. I saw firsthand how NAFTA hollowed out communities, caused thousands of factories to close, shuttered businesses in communities across my state and across the Heartland. We saw thousands of jobs go south of the border. Over a million Americans lost their jobs. But thanks to your leadership, Mr. President, those days are over. (Applause.)
Now, there are so many to thank here — members of the House and Senate who stood with us every step of the way that you’ve acknowledged. You’ve done a great service to the American people. Let me also thank the governors here and governors around the country, and mayors around the country, who stood with this President believing that we could do better as well.
And, Mr. President, you directed me to travel across this country over the past year. I’ve traveled to nearly 20 states. I’ve met with farmers, and workers, and owners of businesses large and small. And today, I want to give credit to them as well. To Americans like Jay and Sue Blanchard of Safety Signs in Lakeville, Minnesota; to Don Walker of Magna International in Lancaster, Ohio; and Doug Freitas of Freitas Farms in California: It was Americans like them who let their voice be heard and supported your leadership. And Congress acted to approve the USMCA. (Applause.) This day is theirs as well.
But finally, Mr. President, on their behalf, I want to say thank you to you for having the vision long ago that America could do better than NAFTA. I want to thank you, Mr. President, on behalf of all of the American people for simply keeping your word, for fighting for the forgotten men and women of this country every day as you do, for driving a hard bargain, for never letting up until we got a deal that put American jobs and American workers first.
So we’re here today because of great allies in Congress and statehouses and city halls. We’re here today because the American people stepped forward and demanded better. But I want to say with a grateful heart that we’re here mostly because we have a President who will always put America first. Thank you, Mr. President, and congratulations. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
AMBASSADOR LIGHTHIZER: Mr. President, Mr. Vice President: The President was elected in large part on his promise to change the direction of U.S. trade policy, a policy that for too long had led to exploding trade deficits, the outsourcing of U.S. jobs, and the brazen theft of American intellectual property. For many, NAFTA came to symbolize everything that was wrong with that policy. The agreement was highly controversial from the start, and passed with a narrow majority in the House of Representatives.
Many of those who cast votes in favor came to regret their decision. They did so because many of the promises that were made in order to procure their votes came to nothing. NAFTA’s weak, unenforceable labor side agreement did not raise wages in Mexico. The outsourcing fears that prominent NAFTA voices — anti-NAFTA voices came to nothing. And the situation got worse later in the decade when China joined the WTO.
This experience colored every subsequent debate over trade policy. And nearly every trade agreement after NAFTA passed with an increasingly narrow majority, and often along party lines.
President Trump set out to chart a new course. The Trump trade policy is designed to create more manufacturing jobs, protect America’s competitive advantage in technology and innovation, secure greater market access for American businesses, farmers, ranchers, and, critically, to change the stale politics of trade by creating bipartisan consensus around a new model that works better for all Americans.
The USMCA achieves each of these goals. This great historic agreement is truly the result of extraordinary effort by many, many people. It is multinational, whole of administration, and bipartisan. It affects every sector, thousands of businesses, and millions of workers in our economy.
Of course, the President was our leader and inspiration. And the Vice President was intimately involved in this process, in every single step, and devoted an enormous amount of his first term to making sure that we succeeded. For that, I’m very grateful.
The complexity of this effort is perhaps best shown by the fact that, in the early rounds, as many as a thousand negotiators from the three countries would be involved. We needed experts on agriculture, manufacturing, automobiles, banking, telecommunications, labor, environment. And I can go and on.
I would like to thank my negotiating partners from Mexico: Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo, Ambassador Jesús Seade, as well as the absolutely essential Luis Videgaray, Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, as well as Secretary Graciela Márquez, and past and present Ambassadors Gutiérrez and Bárcena from Mexico.
On the Canadian side, I would like to thank Deputy Prime Minister and good friend Chrystia Freeland, Gerry Butts, Katie Telford, and Steve Verheul. And, again, the Ambassadors there, past and present, MacNaughton and Heymen.
All were critical. Mexico and Canada are fortunate to have such impressive public servants.
I would also personally like to thank the members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, who worked so hard on this agreement — not just last year, but during the course of the negotiations. They also were involved every step of the way. They made this a bipartisan success.
I have been in town long enough to know that listing members at a time like this makes more enemies than friends. (Laughter.) So I’ll only mention that I’m grateful to the leadership of the House, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Finance Committee, and, of course, Leader McConnell. Many others made immense contributions.
Thank you also to congressional staff. You were magnificent for two years.
Finally — and I apologize for the length of my remarks — I want to show my appreciation to the inspiring men and women of USTR, as well as the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture — (applause) — Treasury, Labor, Transportation, EPA, and other agencies that worked so hard. These people worked tens of thousands of hours for two-plus years, many going home at two and three o’clock in the morning, or not at all.
Chief among the leaders of this effort is my deputy, Ambassador C.J. Mahoney. (Applause.) Since his confirmation two years ago, he has worked continuously on this effort, day and night, and seven days a week.
Thank you also, Ambassador Doud, our agriculture negotiating, and the long-suffering Jamieson Greer, who has the unenviable task of being my chief of staff. (Laughter.)
As I said 16 months ago, thank you also, Jared Kushner, my friend and partner, for all your work and guidance and support. (Applause.) I said before, from the heart, and I mean it again now: Thank you to the Cabinet members who devoted a substantial part of their terms to this effort, particularly the Secretaries of Treasury, Commerce, Agriculture, Labor. And thank you, of course, Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro.
The chief negotiator of the USMCA was Assistant USTR John Melle. (Applause.) He was, throughout, the one who is responsible for the 350 or so people on our team. John is the best example of a career public servant. He retires this week, and he will be missed. (Applause.)
In closing, let me just say that I mostly want to thank the President of the United States for allowing me to lead this special team, for his constant steady leadership, and for always being supportive during very difficult times, and to congratulate him on his magnificent achievement. To do this, and to do it under these circumstances, is a monumental part of your legacy, and I’m happy to be part of it. (Applause.)
I’ll end where I began. The President ran and was elected on replacing NAFTA with an agreement that puts American workers first, American farmers, ranchers, and businesses first; that will bring manufacturing back; help service industry workers; and raise wages. All I can say, if you’ll pardon the appropriation: Promise made, and three years later, promise kept. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Great job. Well, great job.
Well, with all of the power and wealth and status in front of me, I think we would all agree that the people that are, by far, the most important with us today happen to be standing right behind me. (Applause.) Thank you all. Thank you all. Great.
They’re the ones. They’re the workers. They’re the workers, and they’re the ones that are going to benefit most by what we’re doing. So thank you very much for being here. Thank you.
PARTICIPANT: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you.
And I would like you to remember that, two weeks ago, we signed another little deal: our trade deal with China. And we expect to be taking in $250 billion a year in purchases. They will be purchasing so much from our farmers. I’ve been saying they have to go out and buy, immediately, larger tractors and more land. (Laughter.) I hope they can do it.
But they — the number is — the largest number they’ve ever produced was $16 billion a year. I think, Chuck, we could say that. Joni, you would say sixteen was the number.
I called up our great Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny — who is probably around here someplace — and I said, “Sonny, what’s the biggest number?” Sonny Perdue. And he said, “Sir, $16 billion is the biggest number.” I said, “All right, but we’re going to make it up, because they were targeted” — perhaps correctly. You know, China is negotiating. That’s why nobody wanted to take it on. They said, “We’re going to target your farmers.” And every other leader of our country said, “Oh, we’re going to pass.”
Our farmers were incredible because they said, “The President is doing the right thing.” But I said, “What’s the number we’re talking about?” And it was $16 billion, and it was $12 billion from the previous year. So it was $12 billion and $16 billion, and that was it. That was the maximum they’ve ever done.
So I said, “You know what we have to do? We’re going to reimburse them and help them with $12 billion for the first year; $16 billion, same thing, for the second year.” And the farmers got through. And they didn’t want that. Nobody wanted to call it a subsidy. And it wasn’t a subsidy; it was really a “targeting fee,” you could call it.
But our farmers — I’ll never forget — we had them over at the White House in the Cabinet Room. Thirty-five farmers. And they said, “Sir, we don’t want any money. We just want a level playing field. We don’t want money.” And I said, “You know what? I’ve been President now” — at that time — “for two and a half years.” I said, “That’s the first time anybody has ever said that.” Everybody wants money and they don’t care how they get it. (Laughter.) This is the first time. They said, “We don’t want” — “we just want a level playing field.” They are the most incredible people.
And when some of the people from the media — I’m going to be very nice today — the people from the media went out to the farms, and they went out to Iowa, and they went to Nebraska, they went to all of the different — many of the different states — and they said, “What do you think about what the President is doing?” They all — I don’t think I heard one negative — no matter who it was, no matter which network. The farmers would say, “The President is doing the right thing. This should’ve been done a long time ago.” I’ll never forget it. (Applause.) And now the farmers are going to be tremendous beneficiaries.
In fact, when Bob was getting ready to sign the agreement, very close — we were a few days off — and I said, “What are we getting for the farmers?” “Sir, we have it up to $20 billion purchased.” I said, “Make it 50.” They said, “What do you mean, ‘Make it 50’?” Remember that one, Bob? I said, “Make it 50.”
THE VICE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.) It’s true.
THE PRESIDENT: He said, “Sir, they can’t produce that much.” I said, “They’ll find a way to do it.” I think they’ll find a way. Chuck, if they don’t find a way, I’m going to be very angry at you, okay? They’ll find a way. But it’s true. We had it down to 20; that’s more than they had ever done before. I said, “Make it 50.” And they’re going to.
I think China is going to really be terrific. I think our relationship has never been better. We’re very much involved with them, right now, on the virus that’s going around. We’re working very closely. I spoke to President Xi. We’re working very closely with China.
And, honestly, I think, as tough as this negotiation was, I think our relationship with China now might be the best it’s been in a long, long time. And now it’s reciprocal. Before, we were being ripped off badly. Now we have a reciprocal relationship, maybe even better than reciprocal for us. Because we have a long way to go before we get back some of the $500 billion a year that we were losing for year after year to China.
So we’re very honored by that deal and we’re very honored by the USMCA. And I just want to thank everybody in the audience because almost every one of you, indirectly or directly, was involved. And history is going to show — you’re going to be very, very proud of what’s happening and very proud of what’s happening to our country.
Thank you all for being here very much. And I’m going to have the honor of signing the USMCA. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
Why don’t we have some of our great leaders come up? Cabinet members, come up. Why don’t we have everybody come up? Mick, everybody. Cabinet. Jared, Ivanka. Come on up.
This will be very historic. So if you don’t — senators, come on up. Come on, senators. Come on, senators. Please, come up. Please. Please, come up.
Oh, we’re going to take care of the senators. The workers understand. They get it better than anybody. Hi, fellas. Good. This is great.
And, Bob, if we could have some of the folks that worked so hard on the agreement come up, from your department. Come on up. Come on up. Some of them are — they just didn’t stop. They worked long hours. Thank you very much.
Okay. Thank you very much. Thank you, Kevin. Thank you, Roger. Okay. Thank you very much.
(The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is signed.) (Applause.)
Thank you all for coming. It’s a great honor.
11:48 A.M. EST