Remarks by the Vice President at "USMCA: A Better Deal for American Workers" Event in Indianapolis, Indiana
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Indiana!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: It is great to be back home again. Thank you all for coming out on this glorious September day. And join me in thanking Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch. What a great leader and a great conservative champion for Indiana. (Applause.)
I also want to thank the Labor Department's Kate O'Scannlain for being with us today, for doing a great job on behalf of working people all across America. And join me in thanking Linda McMahon and the whole team at America First Policies for bringing us all together today. (Applause.)
And I always wait to announce the highest ranking official last, so join me in welcoming my mom, Nancy Pence Fritsch, who actually is here from our hometown in Columbus. Love you, mom. (Applause.)
And above all, let me thank Chris MacAllister and the more than 100 men and women here at MacAllister Machinery. This is a great American success story and it's about to become even more successful for Indiana and the future. Thank you, Chris. Thank you, MacAllister. (Applause.)
And as I get started, allow me to bring greetings from a friend of mine. I saw him just yesterday, told him I was headed back to the Hoosier State, and I think he sounded just a little bit jealous. (Laughter). So let me bring greetings from a man who loves the state of Indiana every bit as much as I do, who the people of Indiana said "yes" to in 2016 and made the 45th President of the United States of America. I bring greetings from President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
And please be seated. It's great to be with you all. Thanks for coming out in the sunshine.
But I'm here on the President's behalf because we've got an incredible opportunity before us. You know, one of the things that I learned representing Indiana for years in Washington, D.C., and growing up down in Bartholomew County, and serving as your Governor, is the important role that trade plays in the life of the state of Indiana. You know, in the Hoosier State, we do two things well: We make things and we grow things, and then we sell them to the world.
And as I stand before you today, we have before the Congress what will be the largest trade deal in American history. And I came to Indiana to say it's time for Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and pass it this year. (Applause.)
So we're going to talk about trade today. We're going to talk about a great opportunity for Hoosier workers and Hoosier businesses. But before that, let me just take a minute to reflect on the progress that we've made because of the confidence the people of Indiana placed in this President and this team now just a better part of three years ago. It's amazing for me to think all that time has already passed.
But I've got to tell you, when I think of the last two and a half years, there's only one way I can describe it. It's been two and a half years of action, two and a half years of results, two and a half years of promises made and promises kept. And we're just getting started, Indiana.
While many Democrats have spent the last two and a half years, I think there's only one way you can describe it, my fellow Hoosiers: I think it's been two and a half years of action. It's been two and a half years of results. (Applause.) It's been two and a half years of promises made and promises kept. And we're just getting started Indiana. (Applause.)
It's really why I'm here today. And the truth is, while we're watching our nation's capital — even today we see many Democrats who spent the last two and a half years on baseless accusations and they keep trying to overturn the will of the American people in the last presidential election — I'm here to make you a promise: Whatever the Democrats and their allies want to spend their time on, President Donald Trump and I are going to stay focused on the issues that matter most to you — (applause) — a strong national defense, secure borders, safe streets, and jobs, jobs, jobs. (Applause.) And that's exactly what we've been doing.
I mean, if you think about the last two and a half years, it's really remarkable. I mean, this President promised to revive the American economy. And right out of the gate — right out of the gate, we went to work with strong conservative voices representing Indiana on Capitol Hill.
In our first two years, this President signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history. We signed more bills cutting federal red tape than any administration in American history. And we've unleashed American energy.
And this year, America is the leading producer of oil and natural gas on Earth. (Applause.) In fact — I don't know if you heard this — next year, for the first time in 75 years, America will be a net exporter of energy to the world. We are on the road to energy independence, America. (Applause.)
And in addition to tax cuts and rolling back regulation and unleashing American energy, this President also promised to stand for free and fair and reciprocal trade that puts American jobs and American workers first. And we've been doing that since day one. The results of all of that have really been remarkable.
As I stand before you today in this September of 2019, since Election Day 2016, businesses just like this one — businesses large and small across America — have created 6.3 million new jobs, including 79,000 jobs right here in the Hoosier State. (Applause.)
Unemployment has hit a 50-year low, and unemployment here in the state of Indiana is even lower, at 3.4 percent.
Nationwide, we have the lowest unemployment numbers ever recorded for African Americans and Hispanic Americans. And the most exciting thing to the President and me is to see that the American Dream is working again for every American. This economy is booming and working for everybody. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Let me say it again: This economy is working for every American. (Applause.) It's true. Even for people who don't agree with us. (Laughter.) It's still working. It's incredible.
And, you know, for proof of that, you don't have to look any further than manufacturing. And, you know, manufacturing has made an incredible comeback in the last two and a half years, which is a real contrast from the last administration.
I mean, I remember, in the summer of 2016, the last President — who had overseen the loss of 200,000 manufacturing jobs in this country, and said we basically were never going to get them back. You remember that? That's right. The "magic wand." I mean, the last President actually asked the question; he said, "What magic wand do you have to bring back manufacturing jobs?" Well, you all know we didn't need a magic wand; we just needed President Donald Trump in the White House. (Applause.)
In fact, after the last administration lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs, now there are — in fact, there are more manufacturing job openings than at any time in the last decade. And, in 2018, among — we saw the highest optimism ever among manufacturers all across this country. And instead of losing 200,000 manufacturing jobs, 500,000 jobs have come roaring back across Indiana and across America. (Applause.) In fact, 17,000 manufacturing jobs have come right here to the Hoosier State.
And for working men and women gathered here and looking on: You know, it's not just been about more jobs. It's been about better jobs. I mean, since President Trump took office, the average American household has seen their disposable income go up by $5,000 a year. And wages are rising at the fastest pace that they have in more than a decade. And I think what's most exciting to the President and me: Wages are rising most rapidly among blue-collar, working-class Americans. The forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. (Applause.)
And these results didn't just happen. They happened because of the policies that this President put into place. And frankly, they happened because Indiana and America have the greatest workers and the greatest businesses in the world. (Applause.) You give Americans a chance to compete and excel, and they seize it every single time.
The truth is, those numbers tell the tale. Under this President, a rising tide is lifting all boats — just like so many companies that you see right now across the state of Indiana, and just like MacAllister Machinery thriving right here in central Indiana.
You know, I've been pleased to hear that, under the President's leadership and our administration — Chris just told me — that MacAllister's sales are up, and revenues are breaking records. Congratulations, Chris. (Applause.)
You know, I grew up just down the road in Columbus, and, you know, I really am amazed and deeply grateful for what the MacAllister family has been able to accomplish for central Indiana, and the contributions that they've made.
This company is a great American success story. And it's a story about the success of the American Dream. I'm told it all started back in 1945, when Chris's grandfather became the exclusive Caterpillar dealer for 68 Indiana counties. And in the seven decades since, this company has grown. It's been not only a pillar of its industry, but it's been a pillar of this community, contributing to our state capital, contributing to the life of this state in countless ways.
MacAllister now has 26 facilities in Indiana. And, in 2011, I'm told that you expanded next door into the Wolverine State, when you purchased Michigan Cat. Now you've created more than 1,100 jobs here in Indiana and just about as many in Michigan. That is a company that is on a roll. Congratulations, Chris. (Applause.)
But, you know, for all the MacAllister team here — and Chris would be the first to say — that this company's steady growth — it's a testament to policies that have given MacAllister the chance to grow and expand. But it's mostly a testament to all of you — to your work ethic, to your integrity, the quality of people that make this company work.
Like I learned today about a proud Hoosier from Plainfield, Indiana, who is a part of this company. He also served our country in the United States Army. He was stationed outside Saigon during the Vietnam War. But after he transitioned back to civilian life, he actually joined MacAllister. He started as a truck mechanic, and he's worked his way up, all the way to being a facilities engineer.
And this year, he marks his 40th year with MacAllister Machinery. Where are you, Mike Hensilwood? Take a bow, will you? Great job. And thank you for your service, Mike. (Applause.) I'm proud of you. Great job.
Mike's really emblematic, I know, of all of you. He's also emblematic of the vi- — visionary leadership of this great company. So let me take a moment — let me take a moment to recognize one other MacAllister. He's a man who I can say has been a friend of mine for almost 40 years — really kind of painful for me to say that. I marked my 60th year, and this is a man that's been in my life and been an encouragement to me throughout all of that time. In, fact, I scarcely believe that I would be where I am today if it wasn't for the man that I want to mention.
He really is considered, by many, as one of the greatest business leaders that Indianapolis has ever known. But he's more proud of that fact that he was a proud veteran of the Army Air Corps. To know him is to know a man who believes in America. He's a Renaissance man if there ever there was one in the Hoosier State. And he's a man of deep faith — deep faith in this country and deep faith in God.
In fact, back when I was your governor, I gave him the highest award that's afforded to any citizen of the state of Indiana, and it was just a small token of the admiration that the city and the state feels for P.E. MacAllister. Would you all join me in showing our appreciation for a truly remarkable Hoosier? (Applause.) Still working every day and getting a paycheck after 74 years on the job. Thank you, P.E. A truly amazing American and a great friend.
But, you know, I know that P.E. would be the first one to say that Mike and the others that are here gathered with us today are really the reason that this company works. And I know he'd be especially proud, as a veteran of our armed forces, to point out that Mike isn't the only one in this company that's worn the uniform of the United States. In fact, I'm told that there are veterans here today, serving at MacAllister Machinery, who served in all the branches of our armed forces.
So if you're able, if you're a veteran of our armed forces today or in active duty, would you just mind standing up? Stand up and let us thank you one more time for all you've done for our country and our freedom. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your service.
You know, Hoosiers like Mike and P.E. and these veterans that we just saw and all the team here show that MacAllister Machinery is a great company. This is a great state. And, frankly, we just have the — we have the best people in the world. And I believe, as President Trump does, that as long as we have a level playing field, American workers can compete and win with any workers in any businesses in the world. (Applause.)
And that's why we've been fighting for that. That's why, since the first day of this administration, President Trump and I have been working to hold our trading partners accountable, to open up foreign markets across the globe, to level the playing field — what the President likes to say, is for "free, fair, and reciprocal trade."
That "reciprocal" word is one that he uses most often, and it basically says: If you're going to have access to the freest and most prosperous nation in the history of the world, we'd like the same access to your economy and to your consumers.
We've been busy from the first days of this administration. President Trump renegotiated our trade agreement with South Korea. Just yesterday, in New York City, at the U.N., the President announced another trade agreement, this time with Japan, that's going to open up their market to $7 billion more in American agriculture. That's a win for Indiana, and it's a win for America. (Applause.)
And after years of massive trade deficits and intellectual property theft, President Donald Trump put China on notice that the era of economic surrender is over. (Applause.) We're standing strong.
But what brings me here today, as I said at the start, is that this President also drove a hard bargain, and he negotiated what will be the largest trade deal in American history. We call it the "USMCA" — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. And I came home to ask my fellow Hoosiers for your help in getting this thing done and getting it done this year.
And it's going to make a huge difference. I mean, according to the International Trade Commission, the USMCA will add more than $68 billion to our economy. And it's projected to add more than 175,000 jobs just in the early going, once it passes — including, we're projecting, about 50,000 more manufacturing jobs.
And, again, we're not just creating more jobs, but better jobs. The International Trade Commission tells us that, under the USMCA, American manufacturing workers are going to get another raise, on top of the raise they've already received at record levels under President Trump. The USMCA is a win for working Americans. (Applause.)
And it's no real surprise, if you think about it. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, Canada and Mexico purchase one fifth of America's manufacturing products. That's amazing. And they buy more American products than any of our next 10 trading partners.
It isn't that they live just next door, it's that they are a critical destination for what we grow and what we make. In fact, more than 2 million American manufacturing jobs actually depend on trade with Mexico and Canada, including 61,000 jobs right here in the Hoosier State.
So Indiana has got a lot to gain from the USMCA. And as I said before, we do two things well here: We make things and we grow things. We've got customers all around the world who want to buy our products. We really do.
In fact, here's your numbers. Last year, Indiana exported 39 billion dollars' worth of goods supporting more than 180,000 jobs. And that includes $10 billion in exports just from the Indianapolis area alone.
And I'm proud to say that Indiana is number 12 in the nation in exports overall. And our exports are growing fast in this state. In fact, they've gone up by nearly half since 2008. The Indiana economy is growing, and we are selling to the world. (Applause.)
But here's the hook — here's the hook: Nearly half of the exports from the state of Indiana go to Canada and Mexico. That's what makes this agreement so important. And it's really why I came home to talk about it. In fact, a quarter of all Indiana's manufacturing companies sell to Canada and Mexico what they make.
I mean, we're just — we're not just the heart of the Heartland, we're not just the crossroads of America, we are situated between Canada and Mexico on major transportation arteries that Indiana businesses have taken tremendous advantage of over the years. And so, for Indiana, for the manufacturing industry, and for America, we've got to get the USMCA done and we've got to get it done this year. (Applause.)
Because for all of the progress that I was just talking about earlier in our economy and advancing the interest of America at home and abroad, that's just what this businessman-who-turned-President calls a "good start."
The truth is we need Congress to act, and to act this fall to approve the USMCA. But to make that happen, we need your help. Our elected representatives from here in Indiana need to hear from all of you.
So I want to encourage each and every one of you to go out and tell the story. Run into your neighbors and your friends. Stop people outside your place of worship or outside CVS. And just say, "You know, I ran into Mike the other day at MacAllister" — (laughter) — "and he was awfully excited about this USMCA thing." So I want you to go out there and tell our elected representatives in Washington, D.C., Indiana needs the USMCA. (Applause.)
I mean, tell them. Tell them it's going to level the playing field. Tell them this agreement is going to lead to more jobs and more investment in Indiana because it's the God's honest truth. It really is.
But the clock is ticking. So as you go out and reach out to your neighbors and friends, I want you to tell them: Reach out to the people that are going to be making this decision — our members of Congress and our senators.
But I can save you a nickel, okay? You don't need to call Senator Todd Young or Senator Mike Braun. They are leading the charge for the USMCA in the United States Senate. And I couldn't be more grateful. (Applause.)
In fact, you don't even need to call any Republicans representing Indiana in our nation's capital, in the House of Representatives, because they're all there. They're all on board. They know what trade means to Indiana. Trade means jobs in Indiana. That's what the USMCA is going to mean.
But if you have a minute — you know, I always had the view, when I was a member of Congress, that you represent everybody in Indiana and Washington. So if you have a minute, you might just call Congressman André Carson and Congressman Pete Visclosky and tell them to get off the dime and support the USMCA — (applause) — for Indiana and America. Seriously.
I mean, you can tell Congressman Carson — who I served with on Capitol Hill; I served with his grandmother — and tell him the USMCA is a huge win for central Indiana. I mean, Eli Lilly and Company, which is headquartered right here in Indianapolis, exports nearly $500 million of products to Mexico and Canada every year, supporting about 10,000 jobs right here in central Indiana.
So tell Congressman André Carson you want him to put politics aside, put the USMCA on the floor, and pass it for Indiana this year. (Applause.) And say it with a smile.
You know, the truth is, it was the greatest privilege of my life to represent our hometown in our nation's capital. And I can tell you what — I can tell you what: There's nothing that moves the Congress like the voice of the American people.
And so I've been literally travelling across the country and I wanted to come back home again to Indiana to make sure you let your voice be heard. Because I'm absolutely convinced that if the people of this state and this nation send a clear message to Capitol Hill that we want the USMCA, Congress will get it done. So let's go get it done together, okay? (Applause.)
So thanks for coming out today to see me and my mom on this beautiful day.
I want to thank MacAllister Machinery again for your hospitality and for slowing down your day to make us feel so welcome. Thank you, Chris. (Applause.)
I'm looking forward to saying hi to as many of you as time permits before I slip away. But, you know, being back home in Indiana is very special. My wife Karen is off helping raise some money for Riley Children's Hospital right now. (Applause.) And I couldn't be more proud of her. Couldn't be more proud.
And I've got a busy couple of days ahead of me before we go back to our nation's capital that — you know, any time I'm back in Indiana, I just have a heart filled with gratitude. You know, every opportunity I've ever had to serve this nation, whether it be in our nation's capital or in our statehouse, is because of the confidence, the support, and prayers of the people of Indiana.
So let me just say to my fellow Hoosiers: Thank you for privilege of being your Vice President. It is the greatest honor of my life. (Applause.) And I will always be grateful to the people of Indiana for the privilege to serve. (Applause.)
Thank you. Thank you for that.
You know, these are challenging times in the life of our nation. It seems like, every day, politicians in Washington and their allies in the media seem to find new ways to divide this country. But, you know, I've always believed that there will always be more that unites us in these United States of America than will ever divide us.
And I'll make you a promise: Whatever they want to do in Congress to obstruct our agenda, or roll out their latest accusations against the President, or divide this country, President Donald Trump and I are never going to stop fighting for the policies and ideals that have made this country great again. That's my promise to everyone in Indiana. (Applause.)
And I know with your continued support and prayers, with the strong support of Indiana's delegation, and the Congress of the United States, with the USMCA on the President's desk and signed, we're going to make this state and nation more prosperous than you can possibly imagine.
And with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God's help, we're going to keep America great. (Applause.)
Thanks, everybody. God bless Indiana. God bless America. Let's go get the USMCA done.
Mike Pence, Remarks by the Vice President at "USMCA: A Better Deal for American Workers" Event in Indianapolis, Indiana Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/334062