Earlier today President Trump traveled to Dana Incorporated, a manufacturing facility for axel housings and machined products in Warren, Michigan, to celebrate the signing of the USMCA trade agreement with American workers. [Video and Transcript Below]
[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Okay, let’s get back to work. Come on. (Applause.) I love that song, but every once in a while, we have to get back to work. (Laughter.)
So I am very honored to be at Dana Incorporated, a tremendous company, a plant in Warren, Michigan. We’re very proud of Michigan. (Applause.) Dana has been around — I also like it because we happened to win here, so I was very happy with that. (Applause.) Very happy with that.
But you’ve been around — 116 years of brilliant American craftsmanship. And that’s what it is. I just took a tour with some of your leadership, some of your great people, some of the workers that do such an incredible job. And it’s unbelievable to see what you do.
I will say that we just ended a nightmare known as NAFTA. (Applause.) They took our — they took our jobs for a long time. They took it for a long time. And we now have a brand-new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It’s a whole different ballgame, and it’s going to be great for this plant. It’s going to be incredible for Michigan and for every place else in our country.
The USMCA is the fairest, most balanced, and beneficial trade agreement we have ever signed into law. It’s the best agreement we’ve ever made, and we have others coming. And, by the way, the China deal, two weeks ago, was just signed. And that’s going to bring $250 billion into our country. (Applause.) One after another.
But we’re bringing your jobs back to America. Jobs are coming back, and they’re coming back fast, and they’re coming right here to Michigan. They are coming rapidly. You see what’s going on. (Applause.)
We’re very grateful to be joined with — some special people came today: Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. Where’s Bob? What a job you’ve done. (Applause.) What a job. He did this deal. He did China. He did Japan. They all worked together. But fantastic job. He worked night and day to complete this outstanding agreement.
And, Bob, I just want to tell you, on behalf of our country, we thank you very much. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
And with us also, we have some of our people that have been just incredible. They’re warriors. I call them warriors. We won 196 to nothing on a little vote a couple of weeks ago. (Applause.) You know, you do all these great deals. Everybody says, “Thank you, sir. This has never happened.” Everybody said, “It’s impossible to do. It’ll never, never take place,” trade deals like this. And then we’ve built our military, we’ve cut taxes. We’ve taken care of regulations, cut more than any other President in the history of our country. And we did that in three years instead of eight years, or in one case, more. (Applause.) And we protect our Second Amendment. We protect our Second Amendment. (Applause.)
So we’ve done all these things. And, remember, the tax cut was the biggest tax cut in the history of our country. And what do they do? They impeach you.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: Explain. Explain that one.
But we have great Republicans out there, and they don’t like it any better than you do. Very partisan situation. A disgrace. It’s, frankly, a disgrace to our country.
But there has been — no administration has done what we’ve done in the first three years of an administration. No administration. (Applause.) And we’re very proud of it.
But I want to thank Tim Walberg. Where are you guys? Are you all around here someplace? Tim. Fantastic job. Bill Huizenga. John Moolenaar. John Moolenaar. Jack Bergman. Jack. Thank you, Jack. And Paul Mitchell. Thank you very much, Paul. (Applause.) These are your congressmen. They’ve been fantastic. You have a lot of your other leaders here, and leaders in Michigan. These are members of our incredible Representative House.
And I want to say that — you know, I used the term “warrior” — very, very not easily, but they are warriors. We’ve had a lot of warriors, wouldn’t you say? I’d say we had 196 warriors. (Applause.) And we had a zero. So, 196 to nothing. And we actually had three Democrats join them. That was pretty good, wasn’t it? Huh? And one actually left the party and joined the Republican Party. (Applause.) Jeff Van Drew.
But I said to them, “I know you have a wonderful Iraqi Christian community in Michigan.” Do you know about that? Yes? You know about that? I hear they’re wonderful.
And the congressmen were telling me on the plane how rough it’s been for them. It’s been a very tough time for a lot of Christians all over the world. All over the world, it’s been very tough. The Chaldeans — you know the Chaldeans, right? We have some Chaldeans that are working here. (Applause.) And we talked about it long and hard on the flight in, and we’re going to make sure that we do everything we can to keep people who have been good to this country out of harm’s way. And when I get back, we’re going to give those who need it an extension to stay in our country. And so we’re going to be extending them. (Applause.) And lot of people in Michigan have been asking for that. So we’ll work with that when we get back to your great congressmen. Thank you very much, fellas.
Michigan is a steward of one of our nation’s most treasured resources, the incredible Great Lakes. Anybody hear of the Great Lakes? Huh? (Applause.) Think so. And I told the members who are here with me that we are going to work together to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp — who would have thought that was going to happen? — and other invasive species. And it really is; it’s become a big problem. And we’re working on it very strongly. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers already has a plan, and we are going to get this done and ready to go. It’s going to be very quick. We’re going to do very quick. It’s not easy. But we have all of the top technology, and we’re going to take care of it, just like I made the promise — and that promise where so much has already been done.
I also made a promise to you, not so long ago, right here in Michigan — and it had to with Soo Locks. Soo Locks. (Applause.) So I came here, I heard about the problem. They had been working on the problem since 1980. 1980. Nothing was done. It was getting — it was rotting away. The locks were rotting away. It was all talk and no action. And I was being told, “It’s never going to happen, sir. Too much money. It’s just not going to happen.” And they all said, “Leave it to the next President to do.” But I said, “But I am the next President.” And that’s — (applause). It’s a big deal.
And now, as your congressmen can tell you — and they worked so hard on it — all of the funding has been fully — fully approved. Right? Fully. (Applause.) Done. I signed. You think it’s easy getting $922 million out of Congress? Not easy. (Laughter.) But this had to be done.
You know, we’re talking about 11 million jobs, indirectly, all over. Those locks serve 11 million jobs. Some people think as many as 18 million jobs.
So, Soo Locks, we’re going to be starting that in a matter of a couple of months. And we’re going to have it all set. We got our maximum funding, and we have the maximum design. And it’s going to be good for another hundred years, they say. So we’re going to get it done. Okay? (Applause.)
Also, I know everybody here in Michigan supports our great armed forces as much as any place — Michigan. And that’s why we’re giving strong consideration to deploying some of our mighty F-35s to Selfridge Air National Guard Base. (Applause.) And you know what that means, right? You know what that means. That’s a big deal.
So, Selfridge, you’re going to see a lot of very fast planes. Actually, they’re totally stealth, so maybe you won’t see them come in. (Laughter.) Okay? You won’t see them come in, but they’re coming in.
These members and your congressmen — I mean, your congressmen, as members, have worked so hard for this state. They support all of the great jobs here at Dana. Dana Incorporated employs more than 1,500 people. And it’s having one of the best years they’ve ever had.
And the hardworking men and women right here in Warren make the axles, drive shafts, and assemblies of some of the world’s toughest vehicles. And, proudly, they bear that glorious phrase — and I like that when they put it on. You know, a few years ago, they weren’t using that phrase very much anymore. It’s called: “Made in the USA.” “Made in the USA.” (Applause.)
So to the workers of Dana who helped invent the iconic U.S. Army Jeep — still doing incredibly well; actually having a record year. Jeep is having a record year, and you have so much to do with it. That’s pretty good. You helped invent it. I like that. I hope you’re being properly compensated for that. (Laughter.) Because that sucker is doing well. But I just want to congratulate you. 1941, it came about. 1941. That’s something really special.
For many years, Washington betrayed workers like you with trade deals that were rigged to benefit foreign countries and the lobbyists.
Since NAFTA was signed, the United States lost one in four manufacturing jobs. The state of Michigan alone lost nearly 200,000 — think of that — manufacturing jobs and nearly half of its vehicle manufacturing jobs. They left. They went to Mexico, they went to Canada, they went to many other places.
In the last 16 years before my election, 60,000 plants and factories closed throughout the United States. Can you imagine that? Sixty thousand. It’s not even possible. And I know it’s true because all of the fake news back there — see all those cameras? (Laughter.)
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: If I say something that’s even slightly off, it’s a headline.
So I’ve been saying it for two years: Sixty thousand plants and factories closed. NAFTA was the worst trade deal probably ever made by any country. Couldn’t have gotten any worse. You saw it in Michigan as much as any place. You lost your car companies. In fact, I was honored, believe it or not. About 10 years ago, I came to Michigan. I was honored by a wonderful group. I was the “Man of the Year.” And I made a speech and it was a little bit controversial.
And I didn’t know too much about the car industry, but I did know that you were losing all your jobs. They were leaving; they were going to other countries. And I said, “How the hell do you let that happen?” But we stopped it. And this deal really stops it. And now they’re all coming back because they want to be where the action is. And the action is in our country and in this state. (Applause.)
So, for decades, politicians campaigned across Michigan, promising to do something about NAFTA. You heard it. You folks heard it all the time, right? “Well, we’re going to do something about it.” They never did anything about it. I did. Probably the biggest reason that I ran for office. How did I do, by the way? Okay? Because I never did it before. (Applause.) I never did it before. But I do as well as you do. Look, I’m your spokesman, I’m your — I’m somebody that represents you.
And we had a turnout in 2016, the likes of which nobody has ever seen before. This has never happened. You know, some politicians became really famous because they came in first or second or third in one state. Like, they did well in New Hampshire, or they did well in Iowa, or they did well here. But we did well in 32 states. We did actually well in almost all of the states.
But we had a tremendous landslide, Electoral College victory, like people haven’t seen in a long time. And it’s a great honor. And when this state came out and — you know, they said, “Don’t bother with Michigan. You’re never going to win. As a Republican, you’re not going to win.” I said, “Why wouldn’t I win when they’re losing all their jobs, when all their companies are moving out? Why wouldn’t I win?”
And then I came — my last speech was in Grand Rapids. And I made — anybody there? (Applause.) Yeah? Right? Remember that? And the reason — it wasn’t scheduled, remember? It wasn’t scheduled. And they say, “Sir, I came from New Hampshire…” And I thought I was finished. They say, “Sir, your opponent is heading to Michigan.” And that wasn’t scheduled either. But what did that mean to me? That meant that she had problems. And she was heading there with Bill Clinton, with Barack Hussein Obama, and with a couple of other people, all of her staff, and for some reason they were going to Michigan. And I said, “That means they must be in trouble in Michigan.” They said, “Sir, will you go and make one final speech in Grand Rapids?”
And so, on no notice, we had 32,000 people show up. (Applause.) Right? You remember. We had 32,000 people show up and —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Four more years!
THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.)
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
THE PRESIDENT: No, we had — so we gave no notice. And we just showed up with 32,000 people. And Hillary — Crooked Hillary, as I call her — she had a small gathering of about 400 people. (Laughter.) I said, “So…” — in a location that was an easier location. So I said, “Explain to me, why are we going to lose?” And we didn’t. We won. (Applause.)
And we’re going to win it — and this should be better. This time should be easier because we’ve really produced. And I hear we’re doing very well in the polls or whatever. But we should do better because we produced far greater than I said we were going to produce. I mean, you all see the car companies coming in. So it’s been really incredible.
But, for decades, politicians, they campaigned all across Michigan, promising to do something about NAFTA — and I call it the “NAFTA disaster” — only to get elected and do absolutely nothing. They’d take your vote and then they’d go to Washington. And whether it was two years or four years, they’d go to Washington and they’d look at the beautiful columns, and they’d become intimidated by the marble and the beauty and the power. And they wouldn’t even want to come back. And I came back — because we have a lot to do. We’re going to get a lot more car companies moving in. We have a lot more companies moving in. We’re producing jobs like you have never seen before in this country. We’re producing jobs like you have never seen before.
So I just want to say that I’ve kept my promise — and not only my promise in loving the people of Michigan and all over the country, but my promise of taking care of it so that other countries aren’t ripping us off. They were ripping us off. You wouldn’t believe what was happening. (Applause.) I guess you would.
And I think that a lot of our leaders and our politicians from past should be ashamed of themselves for what they allowed to happen. If you look, Mexico took 32 percent of our car business — think of it — in a fairly short period of time. Thirty-two percent of our car business. But now we have a deal with Mexico, we have a deal with Canada. That’s a whole different ballgame. So it’s good. (Applause.)
The USMCA will substantially boost exports for American dairy farmers — also very, very big. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hey, hey!
THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.) You’ve got a dairy farmer in this plant. (Laughter.)
All of the ranchers, the manufacturers, textile makers, energy workers. For those in small business or with farms, small farms, no estate tax. So now you can leave your business, your farms; you can leave them to your heirs, if you like them. If you don’t like them, you don’t have to bother. Then there’s not a big saving. (Laughter.) But they won’t have to go and mortgage it to the hilt so they can pay the taxes because mom and dad loved me. “Mom and dad left me that farm” or “Mom and dad left me that small business,” right? (Applause.)
So if you love your children, it’s great. If you don’t love your children, eh, we did a lot of other things for you too, right? (Laughter.) Right, Matt?
The USMCA is an especially big win for American auto workers. And we will create up to 80,000 — minimum — 80,000 — probably about 120,000 — new jobs. And that’s something that you haven’t seen. But over the last couple of years, you’ve been seeing what’s happening. It’s coming back. It’s all coming back.
Under NAFTA, foreign companies manufactured many parts overseas, sent them to Mexico and Canada for assembly, and then shipped them. And, you know, they were foreign-made cars. And all across our borders, they were tax-free. So they’d make the part and they’d send them across our borders tax-free. And they’d make them with their labor, not your labor. I want them made with your labor. And that’s been the biggest part of our agreement. (Applause.)
So not anymore. And that’s not happening anymore.
The USMCA closes these terrible, unfair loopholes by requiring at least 75 percent of every car under the deal — which is all — to be made in North America. It has to be made in North America. And most importantly, we have strong new provisions to ensure American workers are being hired to do the job. We want to hire American workers to do the job. (Applause.)
Over the next five years, the USMCA is projected to increase purchases of American auto parts by $23 billion a year, and automotive investment by at least $34 billion. And it’s the very first trade agreement in decades endorsed by American labor. We even had — the unions endorsed this, the labor endorsed it. We had tremendous support all down the line: farmers, manufacturers, labor unions. This is a great deal and a brilliantly drawn-out deal.
And, Jared, thank you very much. And, Peter Navarro, thank you. (Applause.) And, Joe and everybody, thank you all. Thank you all. Thank you. (Applause.) What a group of people we had.
Fiat Chrysler is already investing $4.5 billion. Anybody here with Fiat Chrysler? Thank them very much. $4.5 billion. (Applause.) It’s peanuts. It’s peanuts. And creating 6,500 new jobs in Michigan, very quickly, and opening up the first new Detroit plant in over 30 years. That’s a big difference. (Applause.)
And Ford is putting up $1.5 billion and creating 3,000 new jobs. So that’s Ford. Thank you, Ford. Anybody from Ford here? (Applause.) Good. Three thousand new jobs. While General Motors is investing $2.2 billion and creating 2,200 new jobs in Michigan. Two thousand two-hundred. Anybody from General Motors? (Applause.) Okay? Thank you. We’re going to get that up. (Applause.) That’s good. Thank you very much.
General Motors — 2,200. So, you’re talking about 6,500, 3,000, 2,200 — and that’s just what they’re doing right now. They’re going to be doing a lot more. In addition to that, we have many foreign companies coming in because we’re insisting that they build their cars in the United States, not in some faraway land. (Applause.)
Dana Incorporated is the perfect place to honor the immortal legacy of the American worker. And that’s what it is — it’s an incredible legacy.
When the United States battled the forces of tyranny in the Second World War, the assembly line here was round-the-clock production, building more than one-quarter of all tanks made in America. And now we have a very special place that builds tanks. You know about that, right? Does anybody know where I’m talking about?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Ohio!
THE PRESIDENT: It’s called “Lima.” Do you know one of the first things I did? I was President-elect, and they told me they were closing a plant in Lima, Ohio. I said, “What’s the plant?” “It makes tanks.” I said, “Really? Where else do we make them?” “That’s it.” I said, “So if I want to build our military and we want tanks, what are we going to do? Send over to China for them or something?” (Laughter.) They said no.
And I went to Lima, Ohio. I went there. And I looked at this incredible plant and the incredible workers and the detail. I mean, these plants are — these tanks are really complex machines now. I mean, they were more complicated than any dashboard of any plane you’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe it. And the precision of the mechanics and the turrets and the — they’re perfect; they have to get it within one one-hundredth of an inch. Everything has to be perfect.
I said, “You’ll never be able to restart something like this.” So I turned down the closing of that plant, just by instinct. And now we’re making hundreds of tanks there a year. We were making none. We’re making hundreds of tanks a year. (Applause.) And I don’t think they ever could have started it up like here. You can’t start these places very easily.
But we produced a new fearsome and famous weapon, the mighty M-4 Sherman tank. You know that. Right here, we produced. Right here, we produced that. (Applause.) For some reason, we don’t make the tanks here anymore. We’re going to have to speak to Dana. How about a little competition for Lima? (Laughter.)
I better not say that. Lima is going to get angry at me if I say that.
PARTICIPANT: We have a plant in Lima.
THE PRESIDENT: You have a plant in Lima? Oh, you have it covered all the way. (Laughter.) They’ve got a Dana plant in Lima.
But Dana employs some amazing veterans, including production supervisor Devin Mallory. Where’s Devin? Where’s Devin? (Applause.) Get up here, Devin. Come on. Say a few words. He served the U.S. Army — two tours in Afghanistan.
Devin, come on up here.
MR. MALLORY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon. My name is Devin Mallory from Owosso, Michigan. (Applause.)
I decided to join the United States Army as an officer in 2010. At that time, it was difficult to find a job in Michigan. After serving two tours in Afghanistan, transitioning to civilian life was my top priority. As our family grew, my wife and I decided we wanted to be closer to family.
I started looking for a job to make the move back to Michigan last year and was quickly able to find a position with Dana as a production supervisor. (Applause.)
My wife and I are proud parents of two beautiful daughters. I actually just returned to work yesterday after spending time with my wife and newborn daughter. (Applause.)
I want to thank you, Mr. President. I am glad that we have a growing economy in Michigan and a job where I can provide for my family. I’m looking forward to the future possibilities with Dana. Thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Devin. Congratulations.
MR. MALLORY: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Devin. Thank you, Devin.
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE PRESIDENT: There is — there’s a tremendous pride in our country that I see again. And it was not going in the right direction. I’ve never seen more spirit.
I was in New Jersey the other night to make a speech, and the crowds were records. People — I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m now going to Iowa. It’s all over the news. The crowds are like they’ve never seen before.
So there are things happening. People are proud of our country again, and that’s a great thing. That’s a great thing. (Applause.)
Well, this surge in new investment means new opportunities for everyone. Few people know that better than launch specialist Courtney French. And, Courtney — I’m going to ask her to come up and say a few words. Incredible job. Incredible job.
Thank you. Courtney, come on up, please. (Applause.)
MS. FRENCH: My name is Courtney French, and I was born and raised in St. Clair County. At age 19, I started at Dana as a temporary worker, unknowingly pregnant with my second set of twins.
My husband and I now have eight children. So knowing that we have solid jobs to provide for our kids is really important.
Today, I’m a project launch specialist for Dana’s St. Clair facility. And over the last 15 years, I’ve been fortunate to have access to tuition reimbursement and many opportunities to further my career.
So now, more than ever, I’m excited that the USMCA will help even the playing field for American manufacturing while continuing to grow job opportunities here in Michigan, giving me confidence and steady work for the future.
Thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Great job. Great. Thank you, Courtney, very much.
My administration is very pro-worker, to put it mildly. Pro-American policies have reduced unemployment to its lowest level in more than 50 years, and we’ve created over 7 million new jobs, including over 100,000 brand-new jobs in Michigan. (Applause.)
African American unemployment, Asian American unemployment, Hispanic American unemployment, is the lowest it’s ever been in the history of our country. (Applause.)
Real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded. That’s a good one for you. (Applause.)
You know, President Bush, in eight years, it was $450. President Obama, in eight years, it was $975. And President Trump, in less than three years — because when the stats were taken, it was two and a half — and including the tax cuts and regulation cuts, it’s $10,000. Think of that. (Applause.) That’s tough to beat. That’s tough to beat, right?
Earnings for the bottom 10 percent are rising faster than earnings for the top 10 percent. First time. And we’ve lifted 2.5 million Americans out of poverty. More Americans are working than ever before.
In everything we do, we’re restoring Washington’s allegiance to hardworking citizens, the people that I love. I love — I love the worker. I love the worker. Somehow we have this relationship. They talk about it all the time. “Why the hell do they like Trump?” But they like me. What can I tell you?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you! (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: They like me. (Applause.)
I guess some of those stats have something to do with it, right? Because you’ve never seen — but, you know, in the upcoming election, the last time, I talked about what we were going to do, but I didn’t do it. I talked about what we were going to do, but I hadn’t done it because the election.
Then I get elected. And as they will tell you — the fake news; they will tell you — even they will admit I did more than I even said I was going to do, by a lot. So when we go into this next election, we’ve created all of these jobs. All of these companies have come in. We’ve created Space Force for the military. I never said I was going to do Space Force. (Applause.)
And we’re reclaiming a very proud heritage as a manufacturing nation again. Do you remember when the previous administration — the head of the previous administration — I won’t mention names; I’m sure you’ll never guess the name. But said that you’d need a magic wand to create manufacturing jobs. Well, we found the magic wand, because we’re going to be hitting 750,000 manufacturing jobs in the not-too-distant future. (Applause.)
Never made sense to me. When they said, “No increase in manufacturing jobs, no manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs are disappearing” — I used to say those are the best jobs. Those are great people. Those are unbelievably talented people. You’re very talented people. (Applause.) You’re very talented people.
I said, “There’s no way that’s going to happen.” And that’s why all of those companies are coming back. We’re taking them from other countries. We’re doing incredibly well.
We’ve taken in billions and billions of dollars from China. Billions and billions of dollars from China. And then they agreed to sign the agreement. Now we’re working very strongly with China on the coronavirus — that’s a new thing that a lot of people are talking about. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as some people think it could be. But we’re working very closely with them and with a lot of other people and a lot of other countries. And we think we have it very well under control.
We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for it. So that I can assure you.
In the meantime, I just want to congratulate all of the people of Dana. You have been just outstanding. I followed your company. As a person in the business world for a long time, I followed Dana and lots of other companies. You’ve really done an outstanding job. And it really is the great people. Right now, the great people that work here — those people that can do such precision brilliant work, you’re the ones that are doing it, and you’re the ones that our country and the people of our country has great respect for.
So I want to thank the state of Michigan. I want to thank our great congressmen. And I want to thank all of the workers and all of those people that are making all of that extra money that I’ve helped you with. Making a hell of a lot of money. If you want, you can give it back to the country or give it back to Dana. (Applause.) But I have a feeling you’ll just keep it. I say: Spend it wisely.
But I want to thank all of you because this has been really a special moment for me. You know, coming back to Michigan after all Michigan has been through, after all that I talked about — I talked about Michigan so much. I talked about it. “How can you let it happen?” as I said. “How can you let it happen?” And we’ve stopped it from happening. They’re all coming back to us. (Applause.)
So, thank you very much. Congratulations, Michigan, and congratulations to Dana. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you all.
Thank you, fellas. Thank you.
END 4:45 P.M. EST