Trump puts 'America first' in manufacturing, trade speech

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  July 17, 2017 at 4:51 PM
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July 17 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump kicked off his "Made in America" week at the White House on Monday by showcasing products made in all 50 states and promoting an "America first" approach to manufacturing and trade.

Surrounded by cowboy hats, guitars and other goods, Trump called for a level playing field for American workers and industry.

"We want to build, create and grow more products in our country using American labor, American goods and American grit," he said. "American workers, farmers and innovators are really the best in the world. You construct and harvest products that fill our homes, feed our nation and enrich our lives."

Trump called for a level playing field in trade agreements with other countries, an emphasis on rebuilding manufacturing jobs and the scaling back of regulations.

"Restoring American manufacturing will not only restore our wealth, it will restore our pride in ourselves, it will revitalize our independence," he said.

Trump also took the opportunity to call for the repeal and replacement of "job-killing Obamacare." The Republican-led Senate had planned to vote on legislation doing so this week but delayed action because it didn't have enough votes, especially after medical leave for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Monday's event was scheduled to be held on the South Lawn of the White House, but bad weather forced much of the product showcase inside. Prior to speaking, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence toured the larger products on display outside, including a yacht from Maine, a fork lift from Mississippi and an excavator from Oklahoma.

Trump climbed aboard a fire truck made by Pierce Manufacturing in Wisconsin.

"Where's the fire?" he asked from inside. "I'll put it out."

"We will celebrate craftsmen, producers, innovators like the incredible men and women in this room today," Trump said at the conclusion of the event. "We will protect our workers, promote our industry and be proud of our history because we will put America first."

Though Trump called for the hiring of more American workers, earlier Monday, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would allow 15,000 more foreign workers to obtain H-2B visas for seasonal, non-agriculture jobs in the United States. In March, the United States reached its cap of annual H-2B visas issued.

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