Factory Tour and Executive Order Signing
Motorcade arrived at the Ames Companies after a 15-minute, mainly Interstate drive, from the airport.
Along the way, we passed a billboard that said "1 in 5 children faces hunger."
Motorcade pulled across railroad tracks to a warehouse surrounded by 18-wheeler trailers. Ames makes wheelbarrows and landscaping and gardening tools.
Once inside the factory, from a distance, out of earshot, POTUS could be seen inspecting a lineup of colorful wheelbarrows. VP Pence and Wilbur Ross stood alongside.
POTUS then moved to an assembly line, where he greeted workers, posed or pictures, and conducted a fairly extensive on camera interview with John Dickerson.
Cheering and chants of USA! USA! broke out.
Other WH officials, including Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, mingled with the factory management.
Later, POTUS spoke with the management. Pool overheard the Ames CEO, Ron Kramer, tell POTUS, "We'll do just fine if there's a level playing field,"
POTUS escorted Kramer to the pool, who then explained that Mexican and Chinese competitors import tools with lower-cost steel and wood, which undercuts Ames.
POTUS then answered some general questions:
Asked what his message to North Korea: "You'll soon find out."
Asked if he planned military action, he replied, "you'll soon find out."
Asked about the WHCA dinner, he said, "I hope they have a good dinner. But ours is going to be much more exciting, I think. We have a big crowd. We sold thousands and thousands of tickets."
Asked how his trade policy would help Ames compete, he said "We've more than leveled the playing field."
Asked what his message was to climate protesters in DC, he said, "Enjoy the day. And the weather."
Then POTUS sat behind a wooden desk, with a row of shovels behind him, to sign two executive orders: one creating a WH Office of Trade and Manufacturing, and one directing a review of all existing trade agreements.
POTUS delivered a familiar pitch on the need to end unfair trade agreements and level the playing field for American workers.
"We believe in Made in the USA and it's coming back faster and faster," POTUS said. "We've taken unprecedented steps to bring back American wealth, American jobs and American dreams."
POTUS then handed the pen to Peter Navarro, who will head the new trade office.
Motorcade is now rolling to the rally site.