Photo of Donald Trump

Remarks at a Listening Session With Manufacturing Industry Leaders

February 23, 2017

The President. Well, thank you very much. It's a great honor to have everybody. And some of the great people in the world of business, many of you I know; many of you I know from reading all of our wonderful magazines and business magazines, in particular. So it's an honor to have you with us today.

Bringing manufacturing back to America, creating high-wage jobs was one of our campaign promises and themes, and it resonated with everybody. It was really something what happened. States that hadn't been won in many, many years were—they came over to our fold. A lot of it had to do with the jobs and other reasons—but jobs. And I'm delivering on everything that we've said. In fact, people are saying they've never seen so much happen in 30 days of a Presidency. We've delivered on a lot. And I think Mark can explain, and Mark can probably say some of the things we're doing for the auto industry. We're going to be doing for many of the industries.

As you know, the United States lost one-third of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA. That's an unbelievable number and statistic. And 70,000 factories closed since China joined the WTO—70,000 factories. So when I used to give that statistic, I used to talk about it, and I always thought it was a typo. I said, it has to be a typo. I tell Wilbur—Wilbur, that can't be right—70,000. Think of it, 70,000 factories. So you say, what are we doing? My administration's policies and regulatory reform, tax reform, trade policies will return significant manufacturing jobs to our country. Everything is going to be based on bringing our jobs back, the good jobs, the real jobs. They've left, and they're coming back. They have to come back.

You've already seen companies such as Intel, Ford—Mark has been great. GM, Walmart, Amgen, Amazon, Fiat—they came the other day; they're going to make a tremendous investment in the country. Carrier and many others announced significant new investments in the United States. For example, Ford is doing 700 million in Michigan, creating 700 new jobs, as a vote of confidence. It was actually stated a vote of confidence. We have many other companies doing the same thing. Carrier, as you know—and I got involved very late, almost, like, by 2 years late—but many of the jobs that were leaving for Mexico, they're bringing back at least 800 jobs; they're bringing it back. And they actually never got to leave. I have no idea what they did with the plant in Mexico, but we'll have to ask them, because it was largely built.

General Motors is investing $1 billion in U.S. plants, adding or keeping 7,000 jobs. And it's going to be investing a lot more than that over the next fairly short period. Lockheed Martin has 18—they've just announced 1,800 new jobs, and U.S. plants—we're doing a great job, and we started negotiating with them a little bit on the F-35. They've cut their price a little bit. Thank you very much. She's tough. [Laughter] But it worked out well, I think, for everybody. And I think I have to say this: Marillyn, you've gotten a lot of credit, because what you did was the right thing. So we appreciate it. She cut her price over $700 million, right? By over $700 million. You think Hillary would have asked for $700 million? [Laughter] Oh, boy, I hope you—I assume you wanted her to win. But you know what? You're going to do great, and you're going to make more planes. It's going to work out the same or better.

Walmart announced plans to create 10,000 jobs, and all of those jobs are going to be in the United States. Sprint's SoftBank is putting in $50 billion because of our election in the United States, over the next 4 years, to create 50,000 jobs. They've been terrific, by the way. And we have many others. Many of you are in the room, and you know exactly what I'm talking about. We have many, many other companies. And we're very happy.

Today we have 24 CEOs from the largest manufacturing companies in the country and even in the world. They represent—people just in this room—nearly $1 trillion of sales and 2 million employees, large majorities of which are in the United States. They share our commitment to bringing manufacturing back and to create jobs in this country, which has been the biggest part of my campaign. I would say the border, a big part; military strength, big part; and jobs, big part. I don't want to say which is most important. I guess we always have to say defense is maybe the most important.

But many of you take care of our defense, you make great products. Nobody makes the products that we do for our military. Nobody. And in fact, a couple of countries who were not allowed to buy from us, I gave them—hello, Jeff—I gave them authorization; you can only buy from us. I want them to buy from us. They were getting planes from other countries because our—and they're allies. But they're going to be buying from us from now on.

And I just want to thank all of my people. My staff has been amazing. Gary, as you know—you all know Gary from Goldman, Gary Cohn. And we're really happy—just paid $200 million in tax in order to take this job, by the way. [Laughter] Which is very much unlike Gary. But he's great. And he'll be criticized by the media because he's getting paid $197,000. They'll say he really wanted that money—[laughter]—which he gave up. I think he gave up—did you give that up, Gary? I think so.

National Economic Council Director Gary D. Cohn. Yes—[inaudible].

The President. It was one of those things. But that's right. [Laughter]

I want to thank—Wilbur has been so fantastic. I've known Wilbur for so long, and he's a great guy, great negotiator, but a very fair negotiator. And he's going to be doing things that—the deals we have with other countries are unbelievably bad. We don't have any good deals. In fact, I'm trying to find a country where we actually have a surplus of trade as opposed to a deficit—everything is a deficit.

With Mexico, we have $70 billion in deficits, trade deficits, and it's unsustainable. We're not going to let it happen. Can't let it happen. We're going to have a good relationship with Mexico, I hope. And if we don't, we don't. But we can't let that happen—$70 billion in trade deficits. And that doesn't include the drugs that pour across the border like water. So we can't let that happen.

With China, we have close to a $500 billion trade deficit. So we have to do something. I spoke to the President, I spoke to many people. We're going to work on that very, very hard, and we're going to do things that are the proper things to do.

But I actually said to my people: Find a country where we actually do well. So far, we haven't found that country. It's just losses with everybody, and we're going to turn that around.

I want to thank Jared Kushner, who has been so involved in this, and all of my guys. We have a great team. We have a team of all-stars. And we've been credit—we've really been given credit for that. Right now Rex, who, as you know, he's in Mexico—I said, that's going to be a tough trip, because we have to be treated fairly by Mexico. That's going to be a tough trip. But he's over there with General Kelly, who's been unbelievable at the border. You see what's happening at the border. All of a sudden, for the first time, we're getting gang members out; we're getting drug lords out. We're getting really bad dudes out of this country and at a rate that nobody has ever seen before. And they're the bad ones.

And it's a military operation, because what has been allowed to come into our country—when you see gang violence that you've read about like never before and all of the things—much of that is people that are here illegally. And they're rough, and they're tough, but they're not tough like our people. So we're getting them out.

I thought what we could do is maybe we'll start with Ken on my left, and we'll go around the room and introduce yourselves to the press. Lots of media. One thing, we have lots of media. How are you? [Laughter] Treats me—that's one that treats me very nicely, one of the few. Hi. And we'll just start around—go around the room, and then we'll talk privately without the press, and we're going to figure out how to bring many, many millions of jobs more back to the United States, okay?

Ken, go ahead.

Merck and Co., Inc., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth C. Frazier. Thank you, Mr. President, it's good to be here. Ken Frazier from Merck and Co., Inc.

Ford Motor Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields. Thank you, Mr. President. Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Motor Company.

Campbell Soup Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Denise M. Morrison. Thank you, Mr. President. Denise Morrison from Campbell Soup Company.

The President. That's great. Good soup.

Ms. Morrison. Thank you.

United Technologies Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory J. Hayes. Thank you, Mr. President. Greg Hayes from United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier Corporation. [Laughter]

The President. Did you bring any more of those jobs back from Carrier? [Laughter] But one thing he did—you know, I told—I said, you were given so much credit for that, and I heard, 2 days ago, that you're selling far more Carrier air conditioners than you thought, just as a patriotic move. People are buying Carrier because of what you did: bringing the jobs back to Indiana.

Mr. Hayes. That's exactly right. It's been a great success.

The President. Right? So I said that. I thought that was going to happen. Good. Thank you.

Altec, Inc., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lee Styslinger III. Thank you, Mr. President. Lee Styslinger with Altec, Inc.

Johnson and Johnson Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorsky. Thank you, Mr. President. Alex Gorsky with Johnson & Johnson.

Emerson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David N. Farr. Thank you, Mr. President. David Farr with Emerson. St. Louis.

Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Douglas R. Oberhelman. Doug Oberhelman, executive chairman of Caterpillar. We have plenty of D10s available for you.

The President. I love those D10s. [Laughter] I even like the D12. Are they still doing the D12? Mr. Oberhelman. We're doing a D11, and we have some of those around as well.

The President. Because the D12, I'm waiting for, you know. That's going to be bigger than anything ever in history, right?

Mr. Oberhelman. It would be, yes.

The President. But there's nothing like what you do. The Caterpillars are the best.

Mr. Oberhelman. Thank you.

The President. And when we raise the dollar, and we let other people manipulate their currencies, it's the one thing that stops you, Doug, right?

Mr. Oberhelman. Well, we'll take them on. Bring them on. We need help.

The President. Right, technology. No, but we have to give you a level playing field.

Mr. Oberhelman. We need a level playing field. Bring them on.

The President. We have to let other countries give you a level playing field. So what a great company. I love Caterpillar. I've been driving them for a long time.

Mr. Oberhelman. Well, come out and see us, and we'll put you in one. [Laughter]

The President. Okay, good. You have—I might do that soon. Go ahead.

Dana Inc. President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director James K. Kamsickas. Jim Kamsickas, Dana Incorporated. Thank you.

U.S. Steel President and Chief Executive Officer Mario Longhi. Mario Longhi, with U.S. Steel, Mr. President. Thank you for the opportunity.

The President. And you're going to be doing pipelines now. You know that, right?

Mr. Longhi. We have been and will continue.

The President. We put you heavy into the pipeline business, because we approved, as you know, the Keystone Pipeline and Dakota. But they have to buy—meaning, steel, so I'll say U.S. Steel—but steel made in this country and pipelines made in this country.

Mr. Longhi. A hundred percent, Mr. President. We'll be there.

The President. So the pipe is coming from the U.S.

Mr. Longhi. And by the way, when you come drive trucks, come up to Minnesota and our mines. You're going to see them running up there.

The President. Good. I'll do it. I'll be out there.

Whirlpool Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff M. Fettig. Mr. President, thank you. Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation.

The President. Yes, good.

Lockheed Martin Corp. Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Marillyn A. Hewson. Thank you, Mr. President. Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Corporation. I just want to thank you for this opportunity that we've spent this morning in the working groups and the opportunity to talk to you today about generating jobs. We're very excited about the fact that this is one of the first actions that you want to take on. So thank you very much. The President. Good. Well, thank you, and thank you for what we did. Lot 10, we call it. Lot 10—90 planes. [Laughter] It was 90 planes out of 3,000, but it was not doing so well, and now it's doing great. Right?

Ms. Hewson. That's right, Mr. President.

The President. Okay, good. Thank you.

Ms. Hewson. And we welcome you to Fort Worth to see those aircraft on the production line.

The President. Good. Very good. Thank you, Marillyn.

General Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey R. Immelt. Mr. President, good to see you again. Jeff Immelt with GE.

The President. Good. Hi, Jeff.

Mr. Immelt. Great to be here. Look forward to really working you on creating more manufacturing jobs.

The President. Jeff actually watched me make a hole-in-one, can you believe that? Should you tell that story?

Mr. Immelt. This is a great story. We were trying to talk President Trump into doing "The Apprentice." That was my assignment when we owned NBC. President Trump goes up to a par 3 on his course. He looks to the three of us and says, "You realize of course I'm the richest golfer in the world." That's a comment, then gets a hole-in-one. So that—[laughter].

The President. Crazy.

Mr. Immelt. I have to say, you know, I've seen the magic before. [Laughter]

The President. It's so crazy. It's so crazy that—no, I actually said I was the best golfer of all the rich people—[laughter]—to be exact. And then, I got a hole-in-one.

Mr. Immelt. Maybe that's what you said.

The President. So it was sort of cool. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Harris Corp. Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer William M. Brown. Thank you, Mr. President. Bill Brown from Harris Corporation. And thank you for coming to our headquarter location in Melbourne, Florida, twice. Thank you.

The President. Absolutely. Thank you.

Corning Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wendell P. Weeks. Wendell Weeks, Corning Incorporated. Thank you.

The President. Thank you.

Nucor Corp. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer John J. Ferriola. Thank you, Mr. President. John Ferriola, Nucor Corporation.

The President. Great.

Veresen President and Chief Executive Officer Don L. Althoff. Thank you, Mr. President. Don Althoff with Veresen, Inc. International Paper Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark S. Sutton. Good morning, Mr. President. Mark Sutton, chairman and CEO of International Paper.

The President. Great. Bob Kraft is a big fan of yours. You know, that right?

Mr. Sutton. We do, we do.

LiveOps Chief Executive Officer Keith Leimbach. Thank you, Mr. President. Keith Leimbach, CEO of LiveOps, representing the services industry in the manufacturing forum.

The President. Yes, I know.

Mr. Leimback. Let's remember to bring those services jobs back as well.

The President. Good. We will.

Dow Chemical Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew N. Liveris. Good morning, Mr. President. I'm Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical. Thank you for the opportunity and bringing the language of business back to the White House, and I'm here to make chemistry sexy again. [Laughter]

The President. And I want to thank you for your help. You've been great. Thank you, Andrew, very much.

Nobody knows Ivanka. [Laughter]Thank you. Reed, thank you also.

3M Chairman of the Board President and Chief Executive Officer Inge G. Thulin. Good morning, Mr. President. Inge Thulin, 3M.

The President. Thank you. Reed, thank you also. Thank you. Say it again, please.

Mr. Thulin. Inge Thulin, 3M. Good morning.

The President. Yes. Great company.

Dell Technologies Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell. Good morning, Mr. President. Great to be back. It's Michael Dell, with Dell Technologies.

The President. Hi, Michael. Good. Nice to see you.

General Dynamics Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Phebe Novakovik. Good morning, Mr. President. Phebe Novakovic, General Dynamics.

The President. Great.

Midland Chairman of the Board of Directors Juan R. Luciano. Good morning, Mr. President. Juan Luciano, Archer Daniels Midland.

The President. Great. Great companies. Great.

Jared. So, Jared, maybe I'll let you take over for a little while.

White House Senior Adviser Jared C. Kushner. Yes.

The President. And we'll then—we're going to then go through the room very, very carefully. We're going to find out how we bring more jobs back. And thank you to the press and the media. We really appreciate it, and we'll see you later. Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:57 a.m. in the State Dining Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Secretary of Commerce-designate Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.; former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in her capacity as the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee; President Xi Jinping of China; Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson; Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly; Robert K. Kraft, chairman and chief executive officer, Kraft Group; and Assistant to the President for Intragovernmental and Technology Initiatives Reed Cordish.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a Listening Session With Manufacturing Industry Leaders Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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