President Trump touted the booming economy in a speech in Philadelphia, declaring that America is “respected again” and new trade deals mean we are “finally rebuilding our country.”
Speaking at the National Electrical Contractors Association Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Tuesday, the president addressed a range of issues from the economy to trade and infrastructure.
“This is really an incredible time for our nation. We are respected again. We are respected again, like we haven’t been respected in many, many decades,” he said to applause.
“We have the best economy in our history,” Trump continued. “The stock market today just hit another record high. That is — I think 103 times since I’ve been president that we’ve hit a new high. And hopefully next year at this time we will hit many more.”
“But that’s not a bad number, right? I think we’re up to 103. And if I’m off just by a little bit -– like if it’s 102 — it’ll be headlines, ‘Trump exaggerated.’ That’s why I always say ‘I think it’s around…,'” he joked. “With the Republican Congress, we’ve added more than 4 million new jobs since election day and lifted 4 million Americans off of food stamps. Those are tremendous numbers.”
Trump told the crowd that the nation’s economic revival would not be possible without them.
“We’re truly grateful to our electricians, wiremen, lineman, engineers, technicians, journeyman, contractors and apprentices,” he said.
“Oh apprentices — I love that word,” he quipped, getting a round of laughter from the audience.
The president also addressed trade deals with South Korea and Japan while noting that his administration is “taking the toughest ever actions in our history against China’s very abusive trading policies and trade practices.”
“China has been taking out of our country $500 billion a year. And it was time to stop. Nobody ever did it. It’s crazy. Nobody ever did it. Five hundred billion per year. And we are going to have a great relationship with China but we have to be fair to ourselves also,” he explained.
“After years of rebuilding foreign countries, we are finally rebuilding our country, and we are doing it with American aluminum, American steel, and with our great electrical contractors. It’s true. We are rebuilding our country,” Trump said and was interrupted by cheers and applause.
“We are committed to revitalizing our infrastructure and strengthening our electrical grid, it’s so important. Last week, I proudly signed legislation to completely rebuild the United States military,” he said, adding that the “finest equipment on earth” is being purchased and made in the USA.
“We make the greatest military equipment in the world; greatest missiles, greatest rockets, greatest planes, best rifles, best ships. We make the best military equipment by far in the world,” he said.
As he stepped up to give the nearly 40-minute speech, the president was given a special hard hat, featuring the Presidential Seal, an American flag, and the NECA convention logo. As NECA president David Long gave Trump the gift, the president joked about wearing it.
“Thank you. I don’t want to put it on because I’m afraid that I’ll mess up my hair, he said as the audience broke into laughter. “That would be terrible.”
In closing, the president thanked those gathered, telling them “your investment in America’s future, and for your devotion to the American worker.”
“You power our homes, you light up our skylines, and you make the glory of America shine for all the world to see. You take pride in your work, and America takes pride in all of you in this big, beautiful room,” Trump said.
“The men and women who go to work each day are not only powering our economy, they are powering our nation and they are powering our freedom,” he added. “You are the ones rebuilding this land that we love. You are the ones who are making America greater than ever before.”