Pool was ushered into the Oval Office at 342pm for the signing of the two executive orders on trade. Among those in the room standing alongside a podium under the portrait of Andrew Jackson were Mike Pence, Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro. Also in the room was Stephen Bannon.
Potus arrived subsequently and made remarks at the podium, a few highlights of which below. A full transcript of his comments and those of Ross, Navarro and Pence will follow later.
After the remarks Potus left the office without signing the executive orders he was announcing. A WH official says they were signed subsequently.
In his remarks Potus referred to his campaign his visits to cities and towns he said had been "devastated by unfair trade policies." He recalled seeing "shuttered factories" and spending time with laid off factory workers. The "jobs and wealth have been stripped from our country," he said.
"Thousands of factories have been stolen from our country," he said. These "voiceless Americans now have a voice in the White House. Under my administration the theft of American prosperity will end." The US would defend industry and create a "level playing field" for America workers.
Referring to the orders, Potus said these would set the stage for a "great revival" of American manufacturing. The first executive order would ensure duties are fully collected when imposed when foreign importers cheat – "they are cheaters" he said forcefully.
"From now on those who break the rules will face the consequences" and they will be "very severe consequences" he added.
Potus said he was also setting in train the first ever review of America's trade deficits and all violations of trade rules that harm the United States and the workers of the United States.The wellbeing of America and the American worker is "my north star," he added.