Watch: Trump Delivers economic speech at H&K Equipment Company [videos + transcript]
President Donald Trump delivers a speech Thursday on the booming economy and positive boost provided by his tax reform law and deregulation efforts.
Before the speech, the president took a tour of the facility.
THE PRESIDENT: What a great place. What a great place. I met the workers and the people that really do make America great. They’re incredible people. Thank you. And thank you for being here. (Applause.)
You know, I’m very familiar with this setting, as you found out. This is something special and I am thrilled to be back in Pennsylvania with the hardworking men and women of H&K Equipment. Good job you do. Good job. (Applause.) Good job you do.
We’re honored to be joined by the Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin. (Applause.) Oh, look at that, Steve. They must know you. There’s about 5 percent of this group. (Laughter.)
The Director of the National Economic Council, Gary Cohn — tax guy, he’s our tax man. (Applause.) Where’s Gary? Gary. Did a good job on those taxes. Everybody being helped by those taxes — big tax cuts. (Applause.)
As well as a number of outstanding members of Congress. Representative Lou Barletta. (Applause.) He’s been a friend of mine for a long time.
Here’s another one: Mike Kelly. (Applause.) Mike. I won’t have you go through and over those gates. (Laughter.) Representative
Pat Meehan. (Applause.) Pat — thank you, Pat. Great job you do, Pat. These are, like, real friends of mine for a long time.
Representative Keith Rothfus. Does everybody know him? Keith Rothfus. (Applause.) Thank you, Keith. Thanks for being here, Keith.
A man that everybody in Washington knows and so respects, Bill Shuster. (Applause.) Thanks, Bill.
Representative G.T. Thompson. (Applause.) And you know this, G.T. — a person that people are hearing more and more about, a real friend, and a spectacular man, Rick Saccone. (Applause.) And Mrs. Saccone, thank you for being here, thank you. Special people.
My daughter, Ivanka, is also here with us today. (Applause.) And she worked so hard on the Child Tax Credit. Ivanka, come up. Come up here, will you? Come up. Come on up.
And a very special thank you to George Koch for hosting us. (Applause.) Done a great — done a great job, really a great job. Thank you, thank you. What an incredible company.
Ivanka, are you going to say a couple of words about the Child Tax Credit? Boy, did you work hard.
MS. TRUMP: Hi, everyone. It is always amazing to be here in Pennsylvania and to be here with all of you.
We worked so hard on tax cuts and tax reform. And the President, my father, was very specific about what he wanted to accomplish. It was so core to him to support hardworking, middle-income families, and the Child Tax Credit is key to doing that.
So it’s going to be a big win for everyone in this room and everyone across this country, and we are very, very excited about that. Doubling the standard deduction, the Child Tax Credit — all of these elements that make this a very family-friendly plan but also enable great American businesses, like this one, to thrive and be competitive in a global landscape.
So we’re very proud of it, and America is just starting to realize just how great our tax cut plan is. So more of that to come. But thank you for having me here. Thanks. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, baby. Thank you very much, Ivanka. She worked hard. She’s a hard worker. All of our kids are hard workers, right? They work, and we love to see it. And they’re doing a terrific job for our country.
I’ve come to the great city of Pittsburgh to stand with people — and those people are incredible workers — and to show the world that America is back, and that we are coming back bigger and better and stronger than ever before. And we’re making our own product again. And we’re opening up our factories again. (Applause.)
I mean, you take a look at what’s going on, where Toyota is coming in. And the other day, you just saw Chrysler announce they’re moving from Mexico back to Michigan — you don’t hear that too often — with a big, big monster factory. They’re going to spend a lot of money. (Applause.)
At the center of America’s resurgence are the massive tax cuts that I just signed into law. And it’s also reform, but I usually just say tax cuts because that’s what people — they don’t want to hear about the reform. Believe me, the reform is very important. We don’t have to go into it.
But the tax cuts are the most significant tax cut — most significant reform in American history, with tremendous tax relief for working families, for small businesses, for big businesses that produce jobs — for just about everybody. Tremendous numbers. And you’re already seeing what’s happening. You’re seeing what’s going on.
The signs of America’s comeback can be seen at companies like this one, which just had its most successful year in its 35-year history. Congratulations, good job. (Applause.)
And I just learned from the powers that be that H&K Equipment will soon be making a $2.7 million capital investment thanks to the new tax cuts. So I appreciate that, and the workers appreciate that. It’s good. You’re doing a great, great job. Great equipment. (Applause.)
That means more growth and, ultimately, it means more jobs. So congratulations. We have created nearly 2.2 million jobs since the election. (Applause.) The unemployment rate is at, now, an 18-year low. I would say 17 years, and now it just lifted to 18 years.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits just hit a 45-year low. (Applause.) Something I’m really proud of, because I’ve been saying it — what do you have to lose? African American unemployment is at its lowest level ever recorded. (Applause.) Female unemployment is at the lowest level in 17 years. (Applause.) Hispanic American unemployment has hit its all-time lows — lowest ever. (Applause.)
Pensions and retirement accounts are surging in value as the stock market smashes one record high after another. How many people have 401(k)s here? (Applause.) You’re brilliant investors. (Laughter.) I’ve had people come up — “Sir, my wife thinks I’m the most brilliant investor because I made 42 percent in the last 10 months.” And that’s pretty good.
But people are happy. Anybody unhappy with the 401(k)? I don’t think so, right? Well, we can keep it like this. We’re going to win a lot of elections, that I can tell you. It’s something. No, it’s something. (Applause.)
“It’s the economy, stupid.” Did you ever hear that one? (Applause.) It’s the economy. It is indeed.
As soon as, really, a few weeks from now, millions of American workers will be seeing the signs of America’s comeback in their paychecks in February. Very simply, your paychecks will be much bigger because, under our tax cuts, you will be keeping more of your hard-earned money. We are doubling the Child Tax Credit, increasing the refundable credit by 40 percent — 40, not 14 — 40. And we are making the child credit available to more families than ever before — not even close.
When we began our push for tax cuts, I promised that our bill would result in more jobs, higher wages, and tremendous relief for middle-class families, and that is exactly what we have delivered. There’s only one thing — even I never knew how big it would be. It’s much bigger — and you see it — than anybody anticipated. We kept our promise.
In Pennsylvania alone, families will see a tax cut of about $11 billion just this year alone. (Applause.) That’s pretty good. That’s pretty good.
A typical family of four earning $75,000 will see an income tax cut of more than $2,000 a year — that’s like a $2,000 raise — slashing their income tax bill in half. Many will save much more than that.
Ken Wilson is a great example. Where’s Ken? Ken Wilson. The legendary Ken Wilson. (Applause.) Hi, Ken. Come on over here where we see you, Ken. You got to be happy with this. Is Ken doing a good job? (Applause.) Everybody knows. Ken, come on over here. Come on up here, Ken. (Applause.) Come on, if you can make it. He’ll figure out how to get that thing open. If he can’t do it, nobody can, right? It’s what he does, he works on machinery all the time.
Ken joined H&K 14 years ago as a mechanic and worked his way up to become a project foreman. Because of our tax cuts, Ken will save almost $2,200 in income taxes. Two thousand — so, Ken, you just got a $2,200 raise. (Applause.) Come here. And if I had a head of hair like that, I would have — I really would have been — I would have President years ago, Ken. Years ago. (Laughter and applause.)
But we’ve nearly doubled the amount of income taxed at the rate of zero. So, Ken, you’ve seen a big difference?
MR. WILSON: Absolutely.
THE PRESIDENT: Come here. Thank you, man. He said just the right thing. You never know. (Applause.)
Do you want to say — say something to your workers. Say something to your coworkers.
MR. WILSON: It’s not just me; it’s everybody as a whole. This company is an incredible company. We work with a bunch of great people. Everybody pulled together this week and pulled this off. It was a sight to see. It’s something to always remember here.
So I thank everybody. Obviously, thank you, Mr. Trump.
THE PRESIDENT: Wow, that was a good job.
MR. WILSON: Thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Ken. He did good. He didn’t know about that. He didn’t know at all about that. Right, Ken? Good job.
And because we substantially reduced tax rates on American companies, economists estimate that annual household income will rise by an average of $4,000. Think of that. (Applause.)
More than 2 million American workers have already received a tax-cut bonus from their employers, pay raises, more money for retirement, checks as high as $2,000 or more — all because of our tax cuts. And it hasn’t even been a month since I signed the bill.
It’s turned out to be much bigger than we all thought. Even the people that did it — right, Gary? And right, all of the congressmen that voted for us and fought so hard? Nobody had any idea. One thing we didn’t project, in a positive way, nobody thought that the companies were going to step up and pay all of these great bonuses to people. AT&T started it but they came up and they paid all of these bonuses.
A Florida software company, Spellex, just announced a $1,000 tax cut bonus for its workforces. Apple just announced they are giving their employees tax-cut bonuses worth $2,500 each. And because of our business tax reforms, Apple has just announced that they are bringing $350 billion, and putting it into investment into our country — $350 billion. Three-fifty. That’s a lot. (Applause.)
And when I heard the news yesterday — and Tim Cook is a great guy, the head of Apple. And when I heard the news — I heard $350 billion — I said, “You mean $350 million, that’s going to be a beautiful plant.” They said, “No, it’s $350 billion.”
And I just called Tim Cook and I thanked him, but I don’t imagine there’s ever been an investment that big in this country by a company. And just think of what that means. And they’re going to build plants.
And I think some of you remember — I said, “I will not consider our economic situation complete until we get Apple to start building some of those massive plants in the United States.” They’re going to build plants. They’re going to build a big campus. They’re really going to town. So we want to thank Apple — $350 billion. (Applause.) All right. Pretty good.
Here in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, thousands of workers have already received tax-cut bonuses thanks to employers like Comcast, NexTier Bank, American Airlines, PNC Financial — names I’ve very familiar with.
One of those hardworking Pennsylvanians is Kevin Hodits. Kevin is a Marine Corps veteran who received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his courageous service during three tours in Iraq — and a great, proud person. Where’s Kevin? (Applause.) Where is Kevin? Kevin. He kept that hand down, like he didn’t want to come up and speak. Thank you, Kevin.
He started working for Comcast in 2016, and last week he received a $1,000 bonus check thanks to our tax cuts — right out of Comcast, right into his bank. Now he’s taking his family on a well-deserved vacation, Kevin, to visit his grandparents in Florida. Right? Thank you, Kevin. (Applause.) See you in Florida.
I want to thank you for your service, for your patriotism, and congratulations for the bonus. It’s really great. Millions of people.
Not only are we already seeing the benefits of higher wages and bigger salaries — much bigger salaries — but we’re also seeing the creation, very importantly to me, of new jobs.
Pete O’Connor owns a personnel company called Carol Harris Staffing, right here in Pittsburgh. Pete says that businesses of all kinds are seeing increased demand just recently, and they’re hiring more and more workers. And that’s only, really, great news not only for Pete, it’s great news for all of the people in Pittsburgh, for the citizens of Pennsylvania, and Americans all across our country. Where’s Pete? Pete. Thank you, Pete. (Applause.) You’re seeing a big difference, right? Big difference? Big difference.
We’re putting America back to work, and we’re ensuring the forgotten men and women of our country are never, ever forgotten again. Remember? The “deplorables.” (Laughter.) The “deplorables.” We’re all deplorables. (Laughter and applause.) Who would have thought that was going to turn into a landslide, right? Who would have thought that was going to turn in — that was not a good phrase that she used. (Laughter.) Oh, some things you’d like to have back. (Laughter.)
And the good news keeps pouring in. Americans’ monthly utility bills are also going down because major electric companies have announced they will pass their savings from taxes on to their customers — tremendous reduction in certain companies’ and people’s energy costs. That means we are not only seeing higher wages but lower energy bills, and that’s because of the tax cuts. But it’s also because of the regulation cuts.
When I spoke to the folks in the plant, they said the biggest thing is — what’s happened is regulations — cutting of the regulations. And we have regulations, but they’re fair and they’re reasonable. And they’re actually just as stringent. But you go to one group for an okay; you don’t have to get it 19 different times, or seven times, or go to different agencies. It’s within the realm of reasonable, and that’s why people are opening up. They’re expanding and they’re hiring more people.
Our tax bill also took a historic step to restore healthcare freedom. No longer will the federal government punish you for fines if you can’t afford an Obamacare-mandated health plan, because we repealed Obamacare’s cruel — it was cruel — individual mandate, where you were supposed to go out — (applause) — and you pay in order not to have to buy healthcare. Think of it.
It should have been rejected a long time ago by a lot of different people, including the courts, surprisingly. But we were able to repeal it. We got rid of the individual mandate, and you’ll see what that means. It is such a big factor for so many people. It was so unfair. It’s gone.
We’ve also opened up ANWR, in Alaska, for energy exploration — (applause) — creating even more jobs, and more and more energy savings. But that’s the biggest one. They’ve been trying to do that since Ronald Reagan. For over 40 years, they’ve been trying to open ANWR. We got it open.
There has never been a better time to hire in America, to invest in America, and to believe in the American Dream than right now. (Applause.)
There is no limit to what we can achieve when we set free the dreams of our incredible people. You’re incredible people. Americans crossed oceans, tamed the wilderness, dug out the Panama Canal, and launched a man onto the face of the moon. American hands and grit poured the concrete in our highways and forged the steel in our skyscrapers.
Americans built the Hoover Dam — the magnificent Hoover Dam, if you’ve ever seen it; the Empire State Building. They built it in one year, nobody knows that — one year, it was actually less than one year, the Empire State Building. We won two World Wars.
Americans do anything, build anything, and create anything – as long as we have pride in our country, confidence in our values, and respect for our great American flag. (Applause.) Right?
Because America doesn’t belong to the Washington power brokers; it belongs to you. And I think we’ve taught them that. (Applause.) It doesn’t mean it’s easy. It doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s nasty in Washington, but step, by step, by step — just keep going, right? Going. It’s a nasty place. Woo. But we’re getting it. Nobody thought we were going to have this kind of success so quickly.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, darling.
It belongs to the American people. With our destiny in your hands, America will once again be a nation that thinks big, dreams bigger, and always reaches for the stars.
Nothing will keep this incredible nation of ours down. Nothing will stop us from reaching the highest peaks. Because nothing is stronger than the strength and will and spirit of the American people.
You are the ones who will shape America’s destiny, especially all of these beautiful young people in the front. You are the ones who will restore our prosperity. And you are the ones who are making America great again. (Applause.)
So, as many of you know, that’s what I talked about — make America great again. America First — we put America first now. We’re doing trade deals. We’re doing a lot of things that I said we were going to be doing. It’s not easy. These other countries have become very, very spoiled with taking advantage of us. But take advantage of us no longer. Because now we want their country — for them, it should be their country first; but for us, it’s America first. That’s the way it is.
So I want to thank the people of the great, great, great state of Pennsylvania. You remember that big night on November 8th? (Applause.) Donald Trump has won the state of Pennsylvania, right? (Applause.)
And I want to thank the people in this room. You are my friends. You are truly great, great people. And you are making America tick. You are really very special.
Thank you all for being here. God bless you all. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.