1:50 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much everybody. You must have been looking at today’s stock market. (Laughter.) It’s pretty good numbers. Thank you all very much.
It is wonderful to be here in the beautiful Rose Garden. Special place. Special building right behind us — the White House. And we’re going to discuss our massive tax cuts that are growing paychecks all over our country. They’re creating jobs and expanding the American Dream. Just like we said would happen, that’s the way it’s happened. (Applause.)
I want to thank all of the members of Congress here today who helped us pass these incredible tax cuts and reforms into law. You know, for years, they haven’t been able to do it. They were unable to do it. Not since Ronald Reagan, and we topped that one.
But they called it “tax reform.” We discussed that. Right? We discussed it. I said, “We have to call it — not tax reform. Nobody knows what that means. That could mean a tax increase. We have to call it tax cuts. So we called it Tax Cuts and Jobs. And guess what? We got it passed. (Applause.)
I also want to recognize a great friend of mine, and a man who is doing a fantastic job, Vice President Pence. Mike, stand up. (Applause.) Thanks.
And members of my Cabinet, they are working tirelessly. We have Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Acosta, Administrator McMahon. Thank you. Please, stand up. (Applause.) And all of the members of Congress and senators, thank you. And congressmen and women, thank you very much.
Most especially, I want to thank all of the American workers in the audience — we have a lot of them — who have traveled here from all over the country. They wanted to be with us. This event is dedicated to you: the hardworking Americans who make our nation run. You love your country, you provide for your family, you’re proud of everything you’ve done, you’ve got that great extra strength that other people don’t have, and you cherish a wonderful thing called our great American flag. (Applause.)
And now, because of our tax cuts, you can keep more of your hard-earned money. Larry Kudlow is very happy about that, sitting in the front row. Right, Larry? Good. He says, “Yes.”
Married couples won’t pay a dime of income tax on their first $24,000 of income. A typical family of four earning $75,000 a year will see their tax bill slashed in half. Nobody thought they’d ever see that — have a lot more money to spend.
And we didn’t get one Democratic vote. That’s tough. In fact, I have to say, they want to increase your taxes. If they ever got into power, they have stated that they want to increase your taxes and spend money on things that you don’t even want to know about.
So we’ve doubled, very importantly, the child tax credit. They want so many other things, and people have wanted other things. And, frankly, we fought very hard.
We’ve taken care of our military for the first time in many, many years — $700 billion dollars. (Applause.) We’re going to have the strongest military that we’ve ever had. And can you think of a better time to have it? Right? This is when we need it. (Applause.) We’re going to have it — $700 billion. And next year, $716 billion.
Also in that bill, $6 billion for opioids and helping us out with that horrible, horrible problem. (Applause.)
The fact is, we don’t care about the donors and the special interests. We only care about you, and your family, and really making America great again. That’s what we care about. That’s why we’re here. (Applause.)
From the day I took the oath of office, I’ve been fighting to drain the swamp. And sometimes it may not look like it, but, believe me, we are draining the swamp. And there are a lot of unhappy people. You can see that every day. All you have to do is turn on the news. Every time you see me hit, you know that I’m draining the swamp. (Laughter.) And people don’t like it. (Applause.)
But we’re also defending the American worker. We’re making incredible trade deals. We’re taking NAFTA — one of the worst deals ever made in the history of trade — and we are redoing it. And it will be a fair deal for the Americans.
We lost thousands of factories and millions of jobs because of NAFTA — thousands. Think of it: Thousands of factories, millions of jobs. We’re turning it around. Already, Chrysler is coming back with auto plants. Many companies are now in Michigan, Ohio, different places, Pennsylvania. They’re building beautiful, brand new auto plants. Nobody thought they’d ever see that happen.
We’ve created 3 million new jobs since the election. Unemployment claims are at their lowest level in nearly 50 years. Think of that — 50 years. (Applause.)
Something I’m very proud about, unemployment rates for Hispanics and African-Americans have reached the lowest levels ever recorded. Ever recorded. Think of that. (Applause.) Very proud of that.
Remember I used to say at rallies, “What do you have to lose?” Guess what? What do you have to lose? You have the lowest levels ever recorded for African Americans, Hispanics. I’m very, very happy about that. And, by the way, for women, the lowest levels in 19 years. So we have really good numbers. (Applause.)
And something a lot of people didn’t think was going to happen — wages are rising at the fastest pace in over a decade. We’re cutting record numbers of regulations. We’ve cut more regulations in a year and a quarter than any administration, whether it’s 4 years, 8 years, or, in one case, 16 years. Should we go back to 16 years? Should we do that? Congressmen, can we have that extended? (Laughter.)
You know, the last time I jokingly said that, the papers started saying, “He’s got despotic tendencies.” No, I’m not looking to do it. (Laughter.) Unless you want to do it. That’s okay. (Laughter.)
We’re also unleashing American energy and American energy independence. We’re now an exporter of energy. We’re doing 10 — think of this — 10 million barrels a day. Nobody thought they’d see this. Ten million. In fact, it’s going to now be 10.6 million.
We’re cracking down on unfair trade deals. We’re taking strong action to secure our border, stop illegal immigration and restore the rule of law, and we’ve passed the biggest tax cut and reform in American history. More than 5 million workers have already received a tax cut bonus, a pay raise, or a new job thanks to these really massive tax cuts. Millions more — (applause) — millions more are getting higher take-home pay. No one has been more energized by our tax cuts than American manufacturers.
With us today is the President of the National Association of Manufacturers, Jay Timmons. Where’s Jay? Jay. Stand up, Jay. (Applause.) Thank you, Jay.
For 20 years, their organization has surveyed American manufacturers. All over the country they survey. And it’s a great organization. And they have never before seen the levels of optimism that our tax cuts have delivered. Is that a correct statement, Jay? It’s dangerous to ask you that, because if you say “no”, I have a problem. (Laughter.) Thank you, Jay. It’s true. So true. (Applause.)
In fact, today there is even more good news, and I wanted all of you to be the first to hear it: According to the latest survey by the National Association of Manufacturers, projected job growth for American manufacturing has just reached a new all-time high. (Applause.)
So you think about that — the oil at 10 million barrels and you think about the manufacturing. All you used to hear is that we’re losing our manufacturing jobs; jobs are being taken out of the country. They’re coming back and they’re coming back fast. Projections for capital investment and wage growth have also set new all-time records, and we’re just getting started.
There is enthusiasm like we’ve never seen before. Companies from all over the world are coming back to the United States. Apple is investing $350 billion — with a “B” — $350 billion in an incredible campus and plants. So many other companies — far too many to name — and what they’re really doing is giving their workers thousands and thousands of dollars of bonuses — something that we never really expected.
Nobody thought of it. We did the tax cuts. We thought you’d have to wait until February. But you started seeing them very early because hundreds and even, actually, thousands of companies were giving massive numbers of whatever you want to call it.
What would you call it, Mike? The thousands of dollars; what would you call that? We can’t say it’s a gift because they’re workers. We can’t say it’s a tax because it’s not a tax. But they were getting a lot of money and every — I mean so many — and a lot of companies didn’t want to do it and the people working for the companies said, “What about us?” And they did it. They had no choice.
In fact, another great announcement to share with you as well: Today, I will sign a Presidential memorandum directing the EPA to cut even more red tape on our manufacturers — (applause) — so that they can expand and continue to hire and to grow. And I will say, this is about tax cuts today, but the cutting of regulations could have had the same or even a bigger impact on our economy. Nobody has ever seen anything like it.
People were stuck. They’d have a factory; it would be under review for 10 years, 12 years, and then get rejected. You’ve seen what we’ve done with the pipelines and so many business all over our country that are being approved rapidly.
We’re getting highway approvals down from 20, 17, 15, 12, 10 years. We’re getting them down to one year and two years. We’re going to get the highways approved quickly. We’re going to get our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, our schools. (Applause.) No more waiting 18 to 20 years to get an approval and then, by the way, they don’t get the approval. And you may not get the approval, but it’s going to be quick. It will be a quick rejection. (Laughter.) But you’ll get them, for the most part.
And we will take care of our environment. Remember that. We’ll take just as good, if not better, care of our environment. And we’ll have better roads, and better bridges, and better schools.
We’re bringing back our factories, we’re bringing back our jobs, and we’re bringing back those four really beautiful words that you don’t hear very much. We used to hear that, 30 years ago. I won’t say anything more than that because I don’t want to date myself, but 40 years ago, 50 years ago — (laughter) — it was called, “Made in the USA.” Do you remember? (Applause.) Made in the USA. We’re bringing it back.
We used to hear that all the time. Now you’re starting to hear it again. We know that.
Today, we have workers here from almost 50 American companies. I’d like to invite a few of you up here — and you’re already up for the most part — to share with the American people and with all of the folks that are here how the tax cuts have improved your lives.
And we’ve had some incredible — we’ve had some incredible stories, actually. Joining us today are Derek Leathers and Quinton Ward with Werner Trucking in Omaha, Nebraska. Great place, great state. Where are you, Derek? Derek. Derek. Oh, he’s a big guy. Come here, Derek. (Laughter and applause.) How about saying a few words? Please.
MR. LEATHERS: Thank you, Mr. President. Tax reform has already produced real benefits at Werner. Trucking is the engine that keeps America moving. And with the tax cuts, we’ve been able to increase our capital investment this year by $127 million, 90 percent of which is dedicated to trucks and trailers that are cleaner, safer, and better for the American roadways.
We’ve also increased — and announced increases of $24 million for our 9,500 driver associates. That works out to over $2,400 per professional driver. (Applause.)
I want to recognize Marvin and Kathy with me today. Marvin is a 22-year Operation Freedom driver at Werner — 15 years in the U.S. Army and 2 million accident-free miles delivered on America’s roadways. (Applause.)
Marvin told me that he and his wife are going to take an RV trip to Orlando, to an important family reunion, with some of the money that they’ve earned from the tax cuts.
Kathy is a single mother of two. She works in our driver analytics group and is proudly raising two beautiful children. And with her earnings, she’s going to continue to support them on their quest for a college education. (Applause.)
Mr. President, I just want to thank you for your hard work to invest, to free up the American economy, our businesses, and the men and women that make it happen. Thank you.
And with that, I’d like to invite Quinton Ward, a driver of Operation Freedom for Werner Enterprises. (Applause.)
MR. WARD: It’s such an honor to be here today. This President understands that government doesn’t create jobs, businesses and people do. The tax reform law puts money back in my pocket. It has a direct impact on me.
You know, after leaving the military, I was looking for a good-paying career, and the trucking industry aggressively hires veterans, especially Werner. And when I had the opportunity to work for the Operation Freedom fleet, which emphasizes the hiring of military veterans, I was beside myself. I mean, it was a dream come true.
Mr. President, you care about truck drivers, and we see that. You know, we cover this country and haul freight that keeps America moving every day.
Thank you so much for fighting for us. This tax law means a better future for me and a significant pay increase this year, which will allow me to take my family on a trip that we’ve been planning for years but never quite made it.
So on behalf of my Werner and myself, I’d like to thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. That’s beautiful.
MR. WARD: Thank you, sir. Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s beautiful. And, you know, very importantly, the roads are getting a lot better. Did you notice? Those roads are getting better. The truckers were not too happy with the roads. They’re getting a lot better.
Also with us is Brittany Saxton, the owner of Six Hundred Downtown, a pizzeria in Bellefontaine, Ohio. I hear it’s great pizza, too. I heard from a friend of mine — they say it’s great. Where is the pizza? (Laughter.) Where’s Brittany? Brittany, how good is the pizza? I’ve heard great things. You have to bring it with you next time. Right?
So, Brittany, tell us about what the tax cuts have done for your business, and what they’ve done for your family and you. Please.
Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)
MS. SAXTON: President Trump, my name is Brittany Saxton. I want to thank you for your leadership on tax cuts. I started my very first job doing dishes in my hometown pizzeria where I have worked hard and earned opportunities to work up to food prep, waiting tables, and a manager and lead as my team.
Today, I’m the proud owner of that pizzeria and very thankful for my tax cuts. With the reductions, I’ve been able to open my second restaurant, provide insurance and health benefits for my key managers in my company, and I’ve really seen a huge increase in our downtown, Main Street economy boost.
So thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you, Brittany. Appreciate it. (Applause.)
Now I’d like to hear from Richard and John, they’re Universal Plumbing in Las Vegas. And, I don’t know, did you do any work in any of my buildings out in Las Vegas? Where are they? Where are they? Huh?
MR. KERZETSKI: We have not yet, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Any time I’ll take you. Richard, John — say something, please.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
MR. KERZETSKI: Mr. President, thank you for inviting us here today. I appreciate the opportunity to share with you and other workers what your tax plan has meant to Universal Plumbing and Heating Company, and our industry.
After purchasing much-needed trucks, tools, and office equipment, which were long overdue, we were excited to share our tax cut benefits with our 30 employees. In addition to seeing increases in their weekly paychecks, we gave bonuses of $500 and $1,000 to all our employees. We also increased our workforce by hiring several new employees.
Mr. President, thank you for making this possible. And we appreciate all you do.
And now I am proud to introduce John, a father of two, and an apprentice, and also he is a 21-year-old plumbing apprentice. John.
MR. AZCHET: Thank you, President Trump, for everything you’ve done — (laughs) — for our country and my family. I am a plumber. Me and my wife just recently had a son, Rigley (ph), born in January. He spent a week in the NICU.
As the doctor bills started to come in, me and my wife were worrying on how we are going to pay for these doctor bills. And then our company, Universal Plumbing, came to us and gave all the employees thousand dollar tax cuts. And with those, we were able to pay our doctor’s bills.
And I would just like to thank Mr. President for everything he’s doing for our country, the workforce, and the apprentices, as I am a second-year plumbing apprentice. Thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.
MR. AZCHET: Thank you very much.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s beautiful. Finally, will you please welcome Nicole Bergstrom and Brandon McMillen with Smithcraft Signs in Phoenix, Arizona. They have a great story to tell.
Thank you. (Applause.) Let me bring that down.
MS. BERGSTROM: Oh, thank you. Thank you Mr. President. Wow. I’m Nicole, and I run Smithcraft Signs. We are a veteran-owned, small manufacturing company. We’re a job shop.
And what tax reform means for me is what we can do for our team. To improve our capabilities, we’re buying new equipment. We issued a special bonus to our midlevel employees.
Deeann, in our accounting department told me that she is using the extra money for what she describes as a “dream bucket-list vacation” to visit her daughter who was recently discharged from the Navy who is now in Hawaii.
Phil and NOAZ is using the money for a bathroom remodel he has been planning for over 10 years.
I’ve very excited about what the future holds for us. And again, so many thanks. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. That’s so beautiful. Thank you very much.
MS. BERGSTROM: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. After you. Please.
MR. MCMILLEN: Good afternoon. What a tremendous honor to be here today. My name is Brandon, and I’m a sales manager for Smithcraft Signs. My family is personally benefitting from the tax cut.
Due to a recent bonus I received, my wife Andrea, who is a public school educator, is now able to stay home this summer with our two kids instead of getting a job.
Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. That’s beautiful. Thank you.
Well, thank you all for sharing your stories. They’re great stories and great success too. And I know we’ll see you in the years to come — bigger, and better, and stronger than ever. I really — I believe that. All of you, great stories. Thank you.
I’m proud to announce that we’re getting along very well with respect to the whole very big negotiation that we’re having with China. For many years, our country has been very much taken advantage of. I don’t blame China; I blame our representatives, frankly. Too bad we couldn’t have done it the other way around. But it didn’t work that way.
So China is negotiating with us very hard, very long, and we’ve made a lot of progress for opening it up and for getting rid of those tariffs. And I think you’re going to see some tremendous business openings.
President Xi, who is a friend of mine, and a man I like very much — I think he actually likes me very much also, believe it or not — but he is for China; I’m for us. That’s the way it works. (Applause.)
But he announced yesterday that he’ll be opening it up. A lot of barriers coming down. Tremendous market. And let’s see if we’re going to do it in a very friendly way. I think we will. I think it’ll end up — the tariffs off and the barriers down.
You know, as an example, if they sell a car into the United States under the old system — but it’s currently going, but I think we’ll make a lot of progress — they sell it — they pay almost no tax, 2.5 percent. We sell a car into China — number one, they have a barrier; they don’t want them. They want you to build the plant there. That’s bad. But if you do get it through, it’s 25 percent.
So we get 2.5 percent, they get 25 percent. Somehow that formula doesn’t work too well. Larry taught me that a long time ago. (Laughter.) So we are changing it around. And it’s going to be great for China; it’s going to be great for us. I think it’s going to work out really well.
NAFTA, the same thing. We’re negotiating with Canada, with Mexico, and we’ve made a lot of progress. We’ll see how it all works out.
The European Union, same thing. They have tremendous barriers. We can’t do business. It’s very hard to do business. We lost $151 billion in trade deficits last year. European Union — sounds innocent, but it’s been not good for us. So we’re renegotiating that whole deal. All of this is going to mean a lot of business, a lot of tremendous business for our country.
So America’s greatest treasure, by far, is our people. And my administration hears your voice and we have your back. We have your back. (Applause.)
We’re fighting to give every American — all over the country, every single American — a future of dignity and purpose and of pride. Because the jobs that just weren’t doing it, they weren’t there, they were being stolen. They were leaving our country. Companies were leaving and they were firing. Now they’re coming back and they’re hiring. And that’s the way we want it.
We’re going to have tremendous growth in this country. You’re going to be so proud of it. We were proud of our country anyway, but now you’re going to really be proud of it. Because that American spirit is back. It really is back. (Applause.)
It’s the same spirit that linked our nation with railroads and highways, that dug out the great Panama Canal, and that put a man on the face of the moon.
America was built by men and women like you who never give in, never give up, and never, ever stop believing in that great American Dream.
We are the ones who are shaping our own destiny. (Applause.) And you are the ones who are restoring our prosperity. You are the ones who are, truly, bringing and making America first again. And you are the ones that are taking us to levels that we have never seen before. That’s what’s happening right now. You’re bringing our country to levels that we have never, ever seen before.
So I want to thank everybody for being with us today. And God bless you all. God bless America. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.
2:18 P.M. EDT