Remarks by the Vice President on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in Green Valley, Arizona
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Arizona! (Applause.) It is great to be here. What an inspiring place. How about a big round of applause for the guys in the big trucks behind me. What a tremendous — what a great job.
To Governor Doug Ducey, to Senator Martha McSally, to Jim Umpleby —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: — who is a fellow Hoosier who actually went to college at a rival college — (laughter) — across the Hoosier State. And most especially to the men and women of this great company. Caterpillar is a legendary American company and its best days are ahead here in the Grand Canyon State and all across America. Thanks for what you do. (Applause.) What a great team.
And before I get started, let me also say what an honor it is to be here today with a man you just heard from, a man I just mentioned, and, frankly, someone who I hope you know is simply one of the best governors in the United States of America. I can honestly say I was for Doug Ducey before it was cool. (Laughter.)
Would you join me? Why don't you all get on your feet and thank Governor Doug Ducey for all that he's done for Arizona, for jobs and schools, and for quality of life? Thank you, Governor. (Applause.) What a great guy.
It's also a privilege to be here today with a great American leader — a woman who has dedicated her life to making this country better and more prosperous. And now she serves in this administration as the Treasurer of the United States of America. Jovita Carranza, thank you for your service to America and your stalwart support of the USMCA. (Applause.)
And finally, I know I'm going to say a little bit more about her in a little bit, but I have to tell you: My son is actually a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. (Applause.) Thank you. And so I'm a little partial to fighter pilots. (Laughter.) And I'll tell you what — if you haven't figured it out yet, Arizona — she served in the House of Representatives for you, and now she's emerged already as one of the great leaders in the United States Senate. Arizona has a fighter in Senator Martha McSally, and we are so grateful for your strong leadership on this issue. (Applause.) Thank you, Martha.
And finally, let me bring greetings from a friend of mine who loves that state of Arizona — always be grateful for the support the people of Arizona have afforded us in that election in 2016. He is a great champion of American manufacturing. And he's been working hard to bring manufacturing back since the day we took office. I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
And I'm here on this breezy and cool day in Arizona — (laughter) — here in "football weather" — is that right? — just to speak to you on the President's behalf, and really on behalf of the nation, to say we've got an incredible opportunity before us, Arizona. As I stand before you today, Congress has on their desk the largest trade deal in American history. And I came here to Tucson, I came to Arizona to say the time has come for Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and pass it this year. (Applause.)
We're going to talk about trade today — which Caterpillar is a global company, isn't it? Selling your products literally all over the world. American excellence in high relief. We're going to talk about Arizona workers and Arizona businesses.
But before that, let me reflect on the progress we've made because of the confidence the people of Arizona placed in this President and our administration two and a half years ago. I think there's only one way you can describe the last two and a half years: It's been two and a half years of action, two and a half years of results. It's been two and a half years of promises made and promises kept. But we're just getting started, Arizona. That's why we need the USMCA. (Applause.)
You know, at a time when so many in Congress have spent the last two and a half years on endless investigations, trying to overturn the will of the American people in that last election, I'm glad to report to you today, as you've already heard from this podium, that there is bipartisan support for the USMCA. But we need Speaker Pelosi to put the USMCA on the floor of the House of Representatives, and do it this year. (Applause.)
The good news is that, even just yesterday, Speaker Pelosi said that House Democrats were, in her words, on a path to "yes." And we want them to keep going on that path. Let's get to "yes" on the USMCA and score a victory for jobs in Arizona and America. Okay? (Applause.)
I mean, I think you all know the American people don't want more partisanship; we want more jobs. Right? We don't want more resistance; we want more results. The American people want the USMCA to pass and to pass this year. And I literally have been traveling all over the country — all over the country, Jim — telling this story.
And everywhere I go I hear the tremendous support for the USMCA. And I'll make you a promise: Whatever goes on in Washington, D.C., this President, this Vice President, your senator, your governor will not be deterred. We're going to keep fighting for jobs. We're going to get the USMCA on the floor of the Congress. (Applause.) And we're going to fight until we get it done.
You know, we've been fighting to keep the promises that President Trump made to the people of Arizona since day one. I mean, this President promised to rebuild our military, and I'm proud to report that this President has already signed the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan. He also promised — (applause) — thank you.
He also promised to revive this economy. And we cut taxes for working families and businesses. We rolled back red tape. We've unleashed American energy and unleashed an American energy revolution. And we've negotiated free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals that put American jobs and American workers first.
And I don't need to tell you here in Arizona, which is a booming state, that the results have been remarkable. Since Election Day 2016, businesses large and small across this country have created 6.3 million new jobs, including 200,000 good-paying jobs right here in the Grand Canyon State. How about that? (Applause.) That's great, Governor.
Unemployment has hit a 50-year low. And I'm proud to report — as we just began Hispanic Heritage Month all across this country, and I met with great leaders in the Hispanic American community before we left Phoenix this morning — we now have the lowest unemployment ever recorded for Hispanic Americans and African Americans. The American Dream is working again for every American. (Applause.)
I mean, it is — it really is amazing. And you need look no farther, Jim, than manufacturing to find proof of what's happening in this economy. Today, there are more manufacturing job openings in America than any time in the last decade. In fact, there's more job openings in manufacturing and across this country today than there are people looking for work. And last year, we saw a record-high optimism among manufacturers and small businesses, and the most new manufacturing jobs created in more than 20 years. Now, that's real different from about three years ago.
I remember the last President was talking about manufacturing jobs were gone for good. And I've got to tell you: You know, I'm proud of that Caterpillar operation back in Indiana — just as proud as you are here in Arizona, Governor. And you know, in Arizona, kind of like Indiana, we do two things well; you know, you make things and you grow things.
And we had a President in the last administration who said, "What are you going to? Are you going to wave a magic wand to get those jobs back?" They'd actually lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs. Well, we didn't need a magic wand, we just needed President Donald Trump in the White House. (Applause.) Five hundred thousand manufacturing jobs created all across America, including nineteen thousand jobs right here in Arizona.
It's not just been about more jobs. It's also been about better jobs. I mean, since our Election Day in 2016, I'm proud to report the average American household has seen their income go up by more the $5,000 a year. Wages are rising at the fastest pace in a decade.
And what's most exciting to the President and me — while we'd like to see everybody's income rising, the truth is wages are rising most rapidly for blue-collar, hardworking Americans. The forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. (Applause.) It's true.
I mean, we're seeing success stories all across the country over the last two and a half years. And for more than 90 years, Caterpillar has been one of America's best companies. And, Jim, you and your team are keeping that proud tradition alive. I'm told Caterpillar — your machines are sold on six continents. And the United States military is even using them on the seventh continent: Antarctica. (Laughter.) And I hope they don't drive across any thin ice. (Laughter.)
Caterpillar's success story is a — is really a part of the success of this country. I mean, think about it: Caterpillar's machines were used by the Allies during World War Two. They worked on some of the most iconic projects in American history, like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam, and widening the Panama Canal. Caterpillar was there.
In an extraordinary legacy, you continue today with these new developments and innovations like we just saw with these trucks all behind us. It really was amazing. Jim had to point out to me which of the trucks had drivers and which ones didn't. And, Jim, I'm actually just kind of glad you didn't make me stand down there as they were rolling around before you told me that. But they did an incredible job.
And with this booming economy, I'm also told Caterpillar sales have soared by 42 percent since 2016, and you created 3,000 jobs right here in the United States of America. (Applause.) Thank you, Caterpillar.
But I think Jim would be the first one to say results like that just don't happen. Sure, they're a result of economic policies that allow companies like this one to keep more of what they earn and reinvest and be free of burdensome regulations. Sure, that — there's some credit that goes to opening up markets around the world to what you build here and what you make here.
But I know Jim would be the first to say it's — it's really about all of you. And all of you, each and every day, practice the integrity, the craftsmanship, the hard work, and the ingenuity that makes these incredible machines become a reality.
I mean, the truth is, Caterpillar is prospering, Arizona and America are prospering because of people just like you. So give yourselves a round of applause. Great job. (Applause.)
And there's all kinds of individual stories. I'm told there's another Marine here, who actually was a veteran of the Illinois National Guard. He served this nation as an anti-aircraft missile launcher technician and now he uses his technical skills gained in the uniform to help customers use Cat's technology on mining projects all over the world. He's been with Caterpillar for 15 years.
So, for all he did in the uniform in the United States, and all he's done to make this company such a great success, would you join me in thanking Justin Sanchez — Justin Sanchez. Where are you, Sarge? Stand up. There you are. (Applause.) Thank you, Sergeant.
I'm told there's another veteran of the Air Force. Martha, you'll be glad to know — another veteran the Air Force. Also, the Washington Air National Guard, specialized in avionic electronics and repairing preparing radars on A-10s —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Very good — C-130s, K-135s.
And now she tells the story of Caterpillar's Surface Mining technology to employees around the world. So would you join me in thanking her for her service in uniform and her service here? Where's Amy Madsen? Staff Sergeant Amy Madsen, take a bow. (Applause.) Great job. Amy's got a fan club. (Laughter.) That's great.
And, you know, I recognized the two of them because, frankly, they're emblematic of all of you. In fact, in that aspect of their background, they're like a whole lot of you gathered here today. I'm told they're not the only ones at Caterpillar who've worn the uniform of the United States.
So, how about if you're a veteran, if you're able to stand — if you wore the uniform of the United States, would you just mind standing up, letting us show how much we appreciate all you've done for our country. Let's thank our veterans. (Applause.) Thank you. Thanks. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for your service, all.
And thank you all. Congratulations. I mean, the remarkable employees here today — like Justin and Amy, and like all of you — show that American workers can compete with anybody, anywhere in the world.
And we're doing it now today, but the truth is, we can do it even better if we open more markets around the world to what we make, what we manufacture, and what we export from here. And the good news is the President's been working on opening up markets around the world since day one. We renegotiated a trade agreement with South Korea. We signed the first phase of a new bilateral trade agreement with Japan. And President Trump put China on notice that the era of economic surrender is over. We're going to defend American jobs and American workers. (Applause.)
But closer to home, it brings us to the USMCA. And I won't belabor the point; you all know my opinion on it, right? I mean, the truth is this is a historic agreement. And it's an agreement that — it's a win for every American. The truth is, according to the International Trade Commission, the USMCA, once it's signed into law, is going to add about $68 billion to our economy. And right out of the gate, we think it's going to create 176,000 American jobs, including nearly 50,000 manufacturing jobs. And that's a conservative estimate.
And we're not just creating more jobs, but better jobs. The ITC also says that when this trade agreement is passed, American manufacturing workers are going to get another raise, in addition to the wages that are rising already. American manufacturing is working today. American manufacturing is going to win even more when we pass the USMCA. (Applause.)
So I want to encourage each and every one of you. I want to encourage each and every one of you to let your voice be heard. You know, I served in the Congress of the United States for 12 years before I became Governor of the state of Indiana, and I know that the most powerful voice — the most powerful force, rather — in Washington, D.C., is not one party or another, not some special interest or another, it's not even the media. The most powerful force in Washington, D.C., is the voice of the American people. So, Arizona, let your voice be heard. (Applause.)
This is a time for you to pick up the phone, send an e-mail, tweet, reach out to those who represent Arizona in our nation's capital. But I could save you — I can save you some money. First and foremost, you don't need to call Senator Kyrsten Sinema, because she's been out there standing for the USMCA early on. And you sure don't need to call Senator Martha McSally. She is leading the charge in the United States Senate for the USMCA. (Applause.)
But I have to tell you, it's time — it's time to reach out. It's time to reach out to the rest of the delegation. Martha was talking about the folks that represent you in Washington, D.C. And it's time for you to reach out and make a respectful phone call, and tell people, You know, I was standing on a hillside outside Tucso- — Tucson and ran into Mike Pence" — (laughter) — "and a whole bunch of big trucks. And he just told me that this USMCA would be a huge win, not just for the company that I work for, but really for Arizona, and for — and for everybody across this country." And just tell them that, you know, the time has come for Congress to set politics aside. The time has come for Congress to vote on the USMCA. Just call them up and tell them that. (Applause.)
And you can start right here in Tucson. You can start right here in Tucson. Give Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick a call. Tell her I told you to call. And tell her you need the USMCA. And tell her to go tell Speaker Pelosi that when the USMCA comes to the floor, she's going to cast a vote for Arizona and she's going to cast a vote for jobs.
I mean, the truth of matter is that, if all of us will do all we can to send a clear message to our nation's capital, we're going to get this done. We're going to roll our sleeves up. Even in these divided times in Washington, D.C., we have an opportunity, men and women, to do something that will be good for every American. It'll be something every American, whatever their politics, can rally behind. So, let your voice be heard and we'll get the USMCA done. I promise you, Arizona. (Applause.)
So, thanks for coming out today. I appreciate it. I actually skipped through some of my speech because I figured you'd appreciate it too. (Laughter.)
But it really is an honor to be with you. I have to tell you, for a small town guy from southern Indiana to be here in Arizona and serving as your Vice President is the greatest honor of my life. So, can I just take this opportunity to say to the people of Arizona: Thank you for the opportunity of serving as your Vice President. (Applause.)
I'm grateful on behalf of myself and my family and — I already told the governor, that son of mine is going to be moving to Arizona before too long. So — (laughter) — you're going to have a Pence not too far from here, and we're going to be proud. We'll be proud to fly in as quietly as we possibly can, Governor — to visit my son and wonderful daughter-in-law.
But I want to thank you for what you've done here. This is an incredible company. Jim, congratulations again on all your incredible success. Governor, thank you for leading the state with such energy and conviction and such good-natured winsomeness that you have that's all about you. Thank you, Senator McSally for your — for your being a champion for all the people. And thank all of you. And thank you, Arizona, for the support that you provided to us and continue to support.
And I promise you — I promise you not just on the USMCA — on behalf of President Donald Trump and I, we're never going to stop fighting for everything the people of Arizona sent us to Washington to do. We're going to make this nation more prosperous than ever before. We're going to make this nation safer than ever before. And I know, with your continued support and with the great example of the people of this company, and with God's help, we're going to keep America great.
Thanks, everybody. God bless you. God bless Arizona. And God bless America. (Applause.)
Mike Pence, Remarks by the Vice President on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in Green Valley, Arizona Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/334901