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In-Town Pool Report 5
Sam Fleming • Financial Times
March 31, 2017: 05:40 PM

Pool's transcript of Potus's comments before the signing of executive orders on trade follows.

"During the campaign I travelled the nation and visited the cities and towns devastated by unfair trade policies - probably one of the major reasons I am here today – trade. Nobody has ever made bad trade deals like our country has made. I saw the shuttered factories and spent time with the laid-off factory workers. I heard their stories and promised them action, and promised them a solution. And all over America you are already seeing that solution start to take place – take a look at what is going on in Michigan with Ford and General Motors and Fiat Chrysler and so many more.

"The jobs and wealth have been stripped from our country – year after year, decade after decade, trade deficit upon trade deficit, reaching more than $700bn last year alone, and lots of jobs. Thousands of factories have been stolen from our country. But these voiceless Americans now have a voice in the White House. Under my administration the theft of American prosperity will end. We are going to defend our industry and create a level playing field for the American worker – finally.

"Today I am signing two executive orders that send this message loud and clear and that set the stage for a great revival of American manufacturing and you saw that today – you saw what happened, you saw the kind of numbers we have. The survey actually showed 93pc of manufacturers are now optimistic about the future – a record high. And that is up from about 56pc just a couple of months ago. We are going to build on that tremendous momentum and are bringing manufacturing and jobs back to our country.

"First I am signing an executive order to ensure we fully collect all duties imposed from foreign importers that cheat – they are cheaters. From now on those who break the rules will face the consequences and they will be very severe consequences. Second I am ordering the first ever comprehensive review of America's trade deficits and all violations of trade rules that harm the United States and the workers of the United States just as I promised during my campaign.

"This review will be led by Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is joining us here today. Wilbur is an outstanding success story, an unbelievable businessman, a great but very, very fair negotiator. And on Wall Street he is simply known as Wilbur, and everyone knows him. And now we have him on our side. So I thank you Wilbur…[inaudible].

"We are going to investigate all trade abuses and based on those findings will take necessary and lawful action to end those many abuses. I am not beholden to any political or financial interest. I don't care. I am here to do a job. I am doing a job for the American worker. I really don't care. Nothing about my business, or anybody's business, Wilbur isn't, Peter isn't, none of the folks we have up here are… and we are here to do a great job for the American worker and for our companies where the American workers are employed.

"I work for the American people. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or belong to no party at all you, you are an American and I am here to represent you and your family and get this thing straightened out. We are going to get these bad trade deals straightened out – right Peter? It is time – you have been looking at it for years. Right Wilbur? … That is why I defied the special interests and followed through on my pledge to withdraw immediately from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. That is why I am taking these very historic steps today.

"The wellbeing of America and the American worker is my north star... Next week as you know - in Florida – the Southern White House, we are having the president of China and a large group from China's representatives. And we are going to get down to some very serious business and we look forward to it. I have spoken to him numerous times on the phone, we look very much forward to it.

"But it has been very bad what has been happening to our country. In terms of our companies and in terms of our jobs. So we are going to start turning it around, and are going to turn it around fast. It is not going to take a long time. It is going to go fast.

"So I just want to end by saying we have a team that is second to none. When everybody is assembled and fully in gear after these two orders I think it is going to be something very special. I would like to ask Wilbur to say a few words, and then Peter you can say a few words. And we're all set our Vice President. I think I am speaking for both but I am not 100pc sure."

Vpotus responded: "yes you are". Potus added: "I will tell you one thing he has one hell of a good marriage going."

Wilbur Ross then took to the podium. "Thank you Mr President. If anyone had any doubt about the president's resolve to fix the trade [inaudible] these two executive orders should end that speculation now and for all time. This marks the beginning of a totally new chapter in the American trade relationship with our partners overseas. Thank you very much."

Peter Navarro said: "I remember well during the campaign the day the president made the speech outside Pittsburgh and laid down a set of promises to the American people on trade. And today he sees the beginning of the fulfilment of those promises in a grand way with Wilbur Ross at the helm, and the president being the grand strategist of this. We are going to get it done for the American people, workers, domestic manufacturers. Thank you."

Vpous said: "This is a great day for the American worker and a great day for the American economy… Once again President Trump is keeping his word. As we look for ways to expand exports from this country, imports to this country, this president has determined we are going to have free trade but it is going to be fair trade. And arm's length negotiations with nations, holding them accountable to the promises they make. The review the president is initiating today and the work of members of his team on the president's behalf will ensure put America first when it comes to trade. We put American jobs and American workers first."

Potus concluded by saying you would see "some very, very strong results, very, very quickly."

Again he did not answer a question at the end from a reporter regarding Mike Flynn.

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