The Boeing Company
North Charleston, South Carolina
1:31 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Dennis. And I have to say, I love South Carolina. I love it. (Applause.)
Remember we came down — all together, we came down, and this was going to be a place that was tough to win, and we won in a landslide. This was a good one. (Applause.) So I want to thank the people of South Carolina and your governor — tremendous guy. He supported us right from the beginning. So I’d like to thank Governor McMaster for the incredible job. He’s right here someplace. Thank you very much. You have been fantastic.
And I have to say also, that is one beautiful airplane. (Applause.) Congratulations to the men and women here who have built it. What an amazing piece of art. What an amazing piece of work.
Thank you, Dennis, for the invitation to be with you today. You know, in the old days, when I made this speech I got paid a lot of money. Now I have to do it for nothing. (Laughter and applause.) Not a good deal, but that’s okay. We love it.
It’s wonderful to be back in South Carolina, especially with your new governor. Where is Henry? He’s around here someplace. Where is he? Stand up, Henry. Proud of you. He helped us so much. (Applause.)
And I want to also thank your former governor, Nikki Haley, who is doing an awfully good job for us. (Applause.) She’s representing America very well as our ambassador to the United Nations. She is doing a spectacular job. It’s early, but she has just been really great.
We’re here today to celebrate American engineering and American manufacturing. We’re also here today to celebrate jobs. Jobs. (Applause.) This plane, as you know, was built right here in the great state of South Carolina. Our goal as a nation must be to rely less on imports and more on products made right here in the U.S.A. (Applause.)
It’s amazing to think that a little over 113 years ago, next door, in North Carolina, Orville Wright was the first man to sail the skies in a very little airplane. The 1903 Wright Flyer was made of mostly wood and cloth. It was so small that Orville’s brother, Wilbur, could not join him on the flight. He was always very upset about that. The flight lasted all of 12 seconds, but it was incredible.
That flight was a testament to the American spirit. I see that same spirit everywhere I travel in the country. I saw that spirit all throughout the campaign. We have the greatest people anywhere in the world. We have the greatest spirit, and you just look at what’s going on today in our country — you look at what’s happening with jobs. You look at what’s happening with plants moving back into our country. All of a sudden, they’re coming back. And they’re going to be very happy about it, believe me. (Applause.) They’re going to be very, very happy. (Applause.)
As your President, I am going to do everything I can to unleash the power of the American spirit and to put our great people back to work. (Applause.) This is our mantra: Buy American and Hire American. (Applause.)
We want products made in America, made by American hands. You probably saw the Keystone pipeline I approved recently, and the Dakota. And I’m getting ready to sign the bill. I said, where is the pipe made? And they told me not here. I said, that’s good — add a little sentence that you have to buy American steel. (Applause.) And you know what? That’s the way it is. It’s the way it’s going to be.
We are going to fight for every last American job. We’ve come a long way since the Wright Brothers and their first flight more than a century ago. Your plane is made of carbon fiber. It seats 330 passengers. It’s 18 feet longer than the previous version of the 787. And this airplane can fly for half a day before it touches the ground. The name says it all: Dreamliner. Great name. Our country is all about making dreams come true.
Over the last number of years, that hasn’t been necessarily the case, but we’re going to make it the case again. (Applause.)
That’s what we do in America –- we dream of things, and then we build them. We turn vision into reality, and we will be doing a lot more of that, believe me, in the months and years to come. (Applause.)
I also want to say a word to all of the members of the armed forces who are here with us today in this record crowd. (Applause.)
South Carolina has a long, very, very, proud military tradition and history. We salute all South Carolina military families, and we salute all the men and women who wear the uniform. (Applause.)
We are going to fully rebuild our military — by the way, do you care if we use the F-18 Super Hornets? (Applause.) Or do you only care about — what do you think? Well — (jet flies overhead) — thought that was a Super Hornet. (Laughter.) We are looking seriously at a big order, and we’ll see how that — you know the problem is that Dennis is a very, very tough negotiator. (Laughter.) But I think we may get there.
We’re also working on the Air Force One project, which was a difficult project for previous administrations. But it looks like we’re getting closer and closer. (Applause.)
And we’re going to ensure that our great service members have the tools, equipment, training and resources they need to get the job done. (Applause.) As George Washington said, being prepared for war is the best way to prevent it. And that’s really what it is: The best way to prevent war, being prepared. Peace through strength. We build a military might so great — and we are going to do that — that none will dare to challenge it. None. (Applause.)
We will ensure our men and women in uniform have the latest, the most cutting edge systems in their arsenal. Right now it’s not that way. It will be that way very, very soon. Believe me. You will be an important player in this effort.
Boeing has built many important aircraft — including, as I said, the F-18 Super Hornet, the F-15 Strike Eagle, and the Apache helicopter, just to name a few. (Applause.)
And I’m being very, very serious — the new Air Force One, that plane, as beautiful as it looks, is 30 years old. Can you believe it? What can look so beautiful at 30? An airplane. (Laughter.) I don’t know. Which one do we like better folks? Tell me. (Applause.)
On every front, we are going to work for the American people. Nowhere in our focus — and I mean this so strongly — and our focus has to be so strong, but my focus has been all about jobs. And jobs is one of the primary reasons I’m standing here today as your President, and I will never, ever disappoint you. Believe me. I will not disappoint you. (Applause.)
I campaigned on the promise that I will do everything in my power to bring those jobs back into America. We wanted to make much easier — it has to be much easier to manufacture in our country and much harder to leave. I don’t want companies leaving our country, making their product, selling it back, no tax, no nothing, firing everybody in our country. We’re not letting that happen anymore, folks. Believe me. There will be a very substantial penalty to be paid when they fire their people and move to another country, make the product, and think that they’re going to sell it back over what will soon be a very, very strong border. Going to be a lot different. It’s going to be a lot different. (Applause.)
Already American industry will come roaring back. And believe me if we — not me, I’m a messenger — if we didn’t have this victory, we wouldn’t be even talking about it. To achieve that goal, we’re going to massively reduce job-crushing regulations — already started; you’ve seen that — that send our jobs to those other countries. We are going to lower taxes on American business so it’s cheaper and easier to produce product and beautiful things like airplanes right here in America. (Applause.)
We are going to enforce — very strongly enforce our trade rules and stop foreign cheating. Tremendous cheating. Tremendous cheating. We want products made by our workers, in our factories, stamped with those four magnificent words: Made in the USA. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
THE PRESIDENT: Since November, jobs have already begun to surge. We’re seeing companies open up factories in America. We’re seeing them keep jobs at home. Ford, General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler — just to name a very, very few. So many more already. They are keeping and bringing thousands of jobs back in country because the business climate, they know, has already changed.
In Arizona, Intel announced it will open a new plant that will create 10,000 American jobs. They are spending billions of dollars. (Applause.)
We will see more and more of that across the country as we continue to work on reducing regulations, cutting taxes — including for the middle class, including for everyone, and including for business — and creating a level playing field for our workers. When there is a level playing field, and I’ve been saying this for a long time, American workers will always, always, always win. But we don’t have a level playing field. Very shortly, you will have a level playing field again. (Applause.) Because when American workers win, America as a country wins — big league wins.
That’s my message here today. America is going to start winning again — winning like never, ever before. We are not going to let our country be taken advantage of anymore in any way, shape or form. We love America, and we are going to protect America. We love our workers, and we are going to protect our workers. We are going to fight for our jobs, we are going to fight for our families and we are going to fight to get more jobs and better-paying jobs for the loyal citizens of our country. Believe me. (Applause.)
You’ve heard me say it before, and I will say it again: From now on, it’s going to be America first. (Applause.) Working together as a unit, there is nothing we cannot accomplish — no task too large, no dream too great, no goal beyond our reach. Just like you built this incredible airplane behind me — both of them, when you think about it — we are going to rebuild this country and ensure that every forgotten community has the bright future it deserves. And by the way, those communities are forgotten no longer. The election took care of that. (Applause.)
And we will pass on to our children the freedom and prosperity that is their American birthright. Our children will inherit from us a nation that is strong, that is proud and that is totally free. And each of you will be part of creating that new American future.
I want to thank you, South Carolina. I want to thank the great people of South Carolina. God bless you, may God bless the United States of America, and God bless Boeing. (Applause.)
Thank you, everybody. Thank you.
1:47 P.M. EST