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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands and an Exchange With Reporters

July 02, 2018

President Trump. Well, thank you very much. It's a great honor to have the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. That's the official title.

Prime Minister Rutte. Absolutely.

President Trump. That sounds very elegant and beautiful. But it's a great honor to have you. We've worked together and have a very, very close relationship. I think the relationship with the Netherlands has never been better than it is now.

We'll be meeting over the next 2 weeks, again——

Prime Minister Rutte. Absolutely.

President Trump. ——at NATO. And we'll be discussing that today also. And we are discussing trade and the EU and lots of other things.

Tremendous numbers are coming out of the United States and our Government. Our economy is very good.

Prime Minister Rutte. Yes.

President Trump. It's probably the best it's ever been. And we are very close to making some very good trade deals—fair trade deals. I don't want to say "good"; I want to say "fair"—fair trade deals for our taxpayers and for our workers and our farmers. And a lot of good things are happening.

I think the EU—we're going to be meeting with them fairly soon. They want to see if they can work something out, and that'll be good. And if we do work it out, that'll be positive. And if we don't, it'll be positive also. Because——

Prime Minister Rutte. [Laughter] No.

President Trump. ——we just think about those cars that pour in here.

Prime Minister Rutte. It's not positive.

President Trump. And we'll do something. Right?

Prime Minister Rutte. We have to work something out.

President Trump. But it will be positive.

Prime Minister Rutte. Yes.

President Trump. But again, Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much for being here. Appreciate it.

Prime Minister Rutte. It's good to be here.

President Trump. Thank you.

Prime Minister Rutte. And can I add to this: that the relationship between the Netherlands and the United States is over 400 years old. President Trump. Yes.

Prime Minister Rutte. We are allies. We have always been friends, always been friendly, working closely together.

And our talks today will no doubt concentrate on jobs and on security, because the President and I, we are both convinced that, as leaders, our prime task is essentially to make sure that our countries are safe and stable and that we have an economy which is providing the jobs and the future growth for our people.

And there are so many opportunities between the United States and the Netherlands to do more, both in the area of security as well as in the area of having more jobs and having more trade——

President Trump. Right.

Prime Minister Rutte. ——and more investment. Already, almost 1 million people—825,000—in a job in the U.S. because of Dutch investments and a quarter of a million people in a job because of U.S. investments in the Netherlands.

President Trump. That's right.

Prime Minister Rutte. And our aim will be to increase those numbers, to be more successful. So I'm really looking forward to our discussions.

President Trump. Good. That's a great honor.

Prime Minister Rutte. Okay.

President Trump. And I will say that I just spoke with the President-elect of Mexico. We had a great conversation about a half an hour long. We talked about border security. We talked about trade. We talked about NAFTA. We talked about a separate deal, just Mexico and the United States. We had a lot of good conversation. I think the relationship will be a very good one. We'll see what happens, but I really do believe it's going to be a very good one.

He had a very excellent election, did, I would say, even better than anticipated. I told him a number of years ago, when I saw him campaigning for a different race, frankly—a different year, a different race—I said, he'll be—someday, he's going to be the President of Mexico. So he remembered that, and it turned out to be correct. We had a great talk in the morning.

During the morning, I interviewed and met with four potential justices of our great Supreme Court. They are outstanding people. They are really incredible people in so many different ways—academically and every other way. And I had a very, very interesting morning.

So between the President of Mexico and also the—I guess you would call him the President-elect—but I think he'll do a—I think he's going to try and do very hard. I think he's going to try and help us with border.

We have unbelievably bad border laws, immigration laws, the weakest in the world, laughed at by everybody in the world. And Mexico has very strong immigration laws, so they can help us until we straighten out our immigration laws, which have been bad for many, many years—decades. And we're going to have them taken care of.

But very interesting, though, was my four meetings. We'll be—I'll be meeting with two or three more, and we'll make a decision on the United States Supreme Court, the new Justice. That'll be made over the next few days, and we'll be announcing it on Monday, and I look forward to that. I think the person that is chosen will be outstanding. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Supreme Court Nomination

Q. [Inaudible]

President Trump. Over the next—yes, I'll be announcing that on Monday. Monday.

World Trade Organization

Q. Mr. President, do you want to quit the WTO?

President Trump. WTO has treated the United States very badly, and I hope they change their ways. They have been treating us very badly for many, many years, and that's why we were at a big disadvantage with the WTO. And we're not planning anything now, but if they don't treat us properly, we will be doing something.

Thank you, everybody. Appreciate it. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:05 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to President-elect Andres Manuel López Obrador of Mexico.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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