Monday, July 15, 2019

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Individuals to Key Administration Posts

Office of the Press Secretary
President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Individuals to Key Administration Posts

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration:

Michael George DeSombre, of Illinois, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Thailand.

Michael George DeSombre serves on the board of the Hong Kong Forum, an organization that promotes exchanges between scholars and policymakers worldwide, and is active in the region’s intellectual and philanthropic communities.  As a globally recognized authority on mergers, acquisitions, and high profile negotiations, Mr. DeSombre is a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP law firm and leads the mergers and acquisition practice in Asia.  Mr. DeSombre has served as Chairman of the Board of Save the Children Hong Kong since 2015 and has resided in Asia for the past two decades.  In 1990, Mr. DeSombre received a B.A. in Quantitative Economics, and an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University.  He graduated from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, in 1995.  Mr. DeSombre is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and is conversational in Korean and Japanese.

Carmen G. Cantor, of Puerto Rico, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Federated States of Micronesia.

Carmen G. Cantor is a career member of the Senior Executive Service and currently serves as Director of the Civil Service Human Resource Management at the Department of State.  Previously, Ms. Cantor served in various roles within the Department of State, including as the Executive Director of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Bureau of International Information Programs, Executive Director of the Bureau of Counterterrorism, and as Deputy Director for Recruitment, Examination, and Employment.  Before joining the Department of State, Ms. Cantor served as Director of the Office of Civil Rights for the Foreign Agricultural Service, and as Director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity at the Federal Maritime Commission.  She earned a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico and an M.A. from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.

Lisa W. Hershman, of Indiana, to be the Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense.

Lisa W. Hershman is currently Deputy Chief Management Officer and Performing the Duties of the Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense.  Before joining the Department of Defense, Ms. Hershman was Founder and CEO of The DeNovo Group, and is the former CEO of Hammer and Company.  Ms. Hershman also served as Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence at Avnet, where her work was honored with the Avnet Corporate Chairman’s Award.  Ms. Hershman earned a B.S. in Industrial Distribution (Engineering and Management) from Clarkson University, an Executive Certificate in Innovation through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Institute for Management Development program, and an Executive Certificate in Finance from Cornell University.

Statement by the Press Secretary

Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the Press Secretary

Today, Chairman Cummings and Democrats on the House Oversight Committee continued their purely political campaign to harass the President and his close advisors.  Democrats continue to overreach and politicize the Office of Special Counsel – this time, by trying to silence Kellyanne Conway with ill-founded, phony allegations about the Hatch Act.  The Committee clearly knows that under long-standing, bipartisan precedent founded in the Constitution, a President’s senior advisers cannot be compelled to appear before Congress.  Immunity has been asserted for Ms. Conway, which the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel and White House Counsel strongly reaffirmed.  This constitutional protection ensures that future Presidents of the United States can effectively execute their responsibilities of the Office.

View letter from White House Counsel to Chairman Cummings here.
View DOJ Office of Legal Counsel opinion here.


Office of the Press Secretary


James S. Brady Press Briefing Room


2:01 P.M. EDT

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Thank you for being here.  Recently, as you know, there's been a great deal of interest about digital assets, including cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Libra.

There are many regulatory and supervisory questions regarding Libra virtual assets and virtual currencies.  But I will focus primarily on the serious concerns that Treasury has regarding the growing misuse of virtual currencies by money launderers, terrorist financiers, and other bad players.

This week, representatives of Facebook's Calibra Project will go to Capitol Hill to discuss their proposal for a cryptocurrency, the Libra.

At the Treasury Department, across the U.S. government, and with the international financial community, there's been a great deal of activity recently related to the regulation and the treatment of digital assets and cryptocurrencies.

I'd like to give some brief explanatory remarks about what we've been doing on this front, since there's lots of interest, and then I'll open it up to questions.

Last month, the Libra Association -- a consortium of 28 businesses, including a Facebook subsidiary -- announced that it is developing a cryptocurrency called the "Libra."  The Treasury Department has expressed very serious concerns that Libra could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers.

     Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, human trafficking.  Many players have attempted to use cryptocurrencies to fund their malign behavior.  This is indeed a national security issue.

The United States has been at the forefront of regulating entities that provide cryptocurrency.  We will not allow digital asset service providers to operate in the shadows and will not tolerate the use of cryptocurrencies in support of illicit activities.

Treasury has been very clear to Facebook, Bitcoin users, and other providers of digital financial services that they must implement the same anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism -- known as AML/CFT -- safeguards as traditional financial institutions.

Money transmitters of cryptocurrency must comply with the relevant Bank Secrecy Act obligations, known as BSA, and register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN.

Many people are not familiar with FinCEN.  It is a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury.  FinCEN’s mission is safeguard the financial system from illicit use, combat money laundering, and promote national security through the dissemination of financial intelligence.

Last year alone, it collected over 20 million BSA reports and has collected over 300 million in the last 11 years.  FinCEN implements the Bank Secrecy Act’s regulation and has federal regulatory, supervisory, and enforcement authority over money service businesses and banks.

The rules governing money service providers apply to physical and electronic transactions alike.  As money service businesses, cryptocurrency money transmitters are subject to compliance examinations just like every other U.S. bank.

To be clear: FinCEN will hold any entity that transacts in Bitcoin, Libra, or any other cryptocurrency to its highest standards.

I also recently established the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s Working Group on Digital Assets.  This FSOC group enables U.S. financial regulators, such as FinCEN, the Fed, OCC, CFTC, CFPB, SEC, and other key stakeholders to work together to combat risks posed by cryptocurrencies.

As the President has said, Bitcoin is highly volatile and based on thin air.  We are concerned about the speculative nature at Bitcoin and will make sure that the U.S. financial system is protected from fraud.

Given the international nature of cryptocurrencies, we are also going to great lengths to ensure that effective regulation does not stop here at the U.S. border.  Last month, led by the United States, the Financial Action Task Force, known as FATF, the global standard setter for AML/CFT -- adopted comprehensive measures on how countries must regulate and supervise activities and providers in this space.  This was a major step towards harmonizing international regulations concerning cryptocurrencies.

We have also had extensive work at the G20, and I will be addressing this again this week at the G7 Finance Minister in France.

To be clear, the U.S. welcomes responsible innovation, including new technologies that may improve the efficiency of the financial system and expand access to financial services.  That being said, with respect to Facebook's Libra and other developments in cryptocurrencies, our overriding goal is to maintain the integrity of our financial system and protect it from abuse.

Treasury takes very seriously the role of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency, and we'll continue our efforts to protect our country and secure the U.S. and global financial systems.

With that, I know there's been a lot of interest in this subject and perhaps and few others, so I'll take a few questions.

In the back.

Q    Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  Two questions for you, if you don’t mind.  The first one is, Jay Powell, from the Fed, said last week that FSOC would be meeting in the future to discuss Facebook's Libra product specifically.  Has that happened yet?

And then, secondly, you talk about Facebook putting this product out.  If Facebook is able to ultimately resolve all of your concerns about AML and other issues, do you want Facebook to be in the business of issuing cryptocurrencies?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  So let me make the first comment in, which is: We -- and I say "we," either at the principals' level or at the deputies' level -- we've had multiple meetings across the regulators with representatives of Facebook, and expressed our concerns.  We've also had multiple meetings of the FSOC Working Group.  I think you know Jay Powell and I meet weekly, and we've talked about this extensively.

So there are these discussions going on.  They will continue to go on.  Again, to the extent that Facebook can do this correctly and can have a payment system, you know, correctly, with proper AML, that's fine.  They've got a lot of work to do to convince us to get to that place.

     Q    Mr. Secretary, can you address the problems of raising the debt ceiling?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Well, why don’t I do this: I’m sure there’s a lot of interest in that as well, but why don’t I take a bunch of cryptocurrency questions, and then --
     Q    Since I've already ask it, can you just --

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  We’ll come back to you on that.  I’ll give you that.  But you can ask a cryptocurrency question or I’ll just come back to you.

     Q    Well, I really want to talk about the debt ceiling.

     Q    It's all related.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Okay.  I’ll wait for you.

     Q    What are your concerns?  Facebook has had privacy issues in the past.  How does that play into your concern?  And what is your level of concern with Facebook having Libra?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Well, again, I would just say we obviously have concerns with the privacy issues.  There has been items in the press about potential settlements.  I’m not going to comment on that.

     But obviously the regulators -- and one of the regulators, as I’ve said -- most people haven’t heard on FinCEN.  So one of the reasons I wanted to explain this is, whether they’re banks or whether they’re non-banks, they’re under the same regulatory environment for FinCEN.  And we will hold them accountable.  And they’re going to have to convince us of very high standards before they have access to the U.S. financial system.

     Q    Mr. Secretary, at the Social Media Summit last week, the President essentially accused the social media giants of an animus against conservatives.  Can you assure the markets and everyone watching that whatever action this government will take is not a result of the President’s view that these social media giants are biased against him?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Well, again, I can -- what I will tell you is the President does have concerns as it relates to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and those are legitimate concerns that we’ve been working on for a long period of time.

     But, no, we’re not going to target any one entity.  Everybody is playing by the same rules.  Again, whether you walk into a money service provider or whether you walk into a bank or you do it digitally, you’re going to have to adhere to the same rules.

     Q    Thank you, Secretary.  Considering that Bitcoin is decentralized, what do you tell Americans who want to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Well, one, I tell them to be careful, okay?  They should be clear why they’re investing in them.  There’s a lot of good things to invest in, obviously, we know about.

     But, you know, our number-one issue is that: One, we don’t want bad actors using cryptocurrencies.  That’s our number-one issue.  I think, to a large extent, these cryptocurrencies have been dominated by illicit activities and speculation.  We’ll make sure that the general public and investors understand what they’re investing in and, whether it’s the SEC or other regulators, there’s proper disclosures.

     Q    Mr. Secretary, you said that you’re comfortable with Facebook launching the currency if they do it in the right way.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  No, I didn’t say that, actually.  I didn’t say I was comfortable with them launching a currency.

     Q    If they launched it in the appropriate and in a safe way, in terms of --

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Yeah.  But I’m not comfortable today.  So let me just be careful.  As I’ve said, they and others have a lot of work to do before they get us comfortable.

     Q    Do you have a sense of the timeline there?  Is Facebook being candid with the administration about how many years it would take them (inaudible)?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  I think they’re being very candid with the administration and where they are.  I’m not going to publicly speculate how long I think it will take them to get to the point where we’re comfortable with it.  But they’re -- they are a long way away from -- and, again, part of it, there’s been a lot of public interest in this.  That’s why I wanted to give the public the assurance that, before they or anyone else does this, that we’re going to make sure the financial system is protected.

     And, as I said, there’s a lot of illicit activity that we’ll be shutting down for people who are using cryptocurrencies for bad purposes.

     Q    Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  Can you give a sense about how those discussions are going with your counterparts from other G20 countries on this particular issue?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  I would say there’s enormous agreement on this.  As I said, I was in Orlando, I think it was two weeks ago.  The U.S. just finished the presidency of FATF.  I gave the keynote address there.  That was adopted.  I mean, that is the largest organization -- much bigger than the G20 -- and it’s kind of the gold standard of AML.  And those rules were adapted.

     And, at the G20 and the G7, we have absolute, general agreement that, in the U.S., if you deal with the U.S. financial system, you have to adhere to the same rules.  And that’s something that the rest of the G20 is very focused on.

     Q    Mr. Secretary, you said you’d take questions on a number of subjects, so I’ll ask, on another subject.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  No.  I said I was first going to -- I’m first going to finish the cryptocurrencies.  We'll spend any finished --

     Q    Well, then I do have a cryptocurrency question, sir.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  We'll come back to it.

     Okay.  Go ahead, cryptocurrency.

     Q    And a follow-up.  So you've said that Treasury is concerned about bad actors using cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, which has become very popular among white nationalist groups.  What sort of actions is Treasury taking to stop these bad actors from using these decentralized cryptocurrencies?

And I have a follow-up, sir.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Okay.  Well, I'm not -- as it relates to any specific group, I'm not going to comment on any specific group.  But what I will tell you is that FinCEN has multiple investigations going on.  There are -- there have been enforcement actions.  There will be more enforcement actions.  We're going to beef up our resources for regulatory oversight.  This is something we're absolutely focused on and on top of.

     Q    And while you have me, may I ask a follow-up -- another question?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  We're going to try and give everybody one question.  Thank you.

     Q    Mr. Secretary, what specifically, language-wise, are you looking for out of the G7 Finance Ministers Meeting?  And are you confident that you'll get a statement that has some teeth?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Well, we've had -- I'd say, again, my understanding is that, you know, there'll be a chairman's report.  There won't necessarily be a communiqué in general, but I leave that to the French.

I will say we have working groups at the G7 and G20.  This has been in the G20 notifications.  I think, you know, we got a lot of interest in the digital tax.  We're focusing on the international tax issue.  But this will definitely be high on our discussion issue.

     Q    Mr. Secretary, back in March, Treasury imposed restrictions or sanctions on the Venezuelan cryptocurrency -- the petro.  And our understanding is that the Venezuelan regime is still trying to keep it afloat.  Can you give us an update on the results that you've gotten from those restrictions and whether or not you have any knowledge that the Venezuelan regiment is trying to keep (inaudible)?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  I'm not aware of anybody who's really using that, or it's taken off, or had any success whatsoever.

Q    So the restrictions worked?


Q    Mr. Secretary, aren’t you afraid of painting everybody with the same brush?  You know, you have some of the crypto (inaudible) have been going to the CFTC; they've been going with the IMF and Lagarde and the ECB and every regulator, getting this done in the rules.  And the Libra sort of comes up.  So you're sort of putting everybody in the same -- painting the same brush for all the (inaudible).

SECRETARY MNUCHIN: No, I don’t think we’re doing that at all.  As a matter of fact, you know, as I said, one of the reasons why I wanted to speak about this is there's been lots of activity that’s been going on for the last year on this.  And, you know, whether it's Congress or other areas of the press, because of Libra, it's caught a lot of attention and people weren’t aware of all the work that’s been going on.  So that’s the purpose.

Q    So can we go back (inaudible)?  Let me know when you're ready for that one.

Q    Can I cross over to debt limits?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Any more crypto before we move on to --

Q    Yes.  I wonder if you can be specific as to the illicit actions that you're referring to.  Can you give us some examples, so the American people can know, if they're interested in getting into cryptocurrency, what things to avoid?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Well, again, if you're dealing with a legitimate entity in the U.S., those legitimate entities that are attached to crypto are indeed subject to the Know Your Customer rules and AML.

If you're looking to use Bitcoin to go through those entities and go on the dark web and think you're not going to get caught, you're going to get caught.  So this is a warning.

If you want to use it for speculation, that’s one thing.  If you want to use it for illicit activities, we're going to put the full effort of the U.S. Treasury and the regulators onto that.

Q    Do the new regulations favor traditional banks, maybe in the same ways --

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  No.  This is intended to be a level playing field whether you're MoneyGram, or you're a bank, or you're an online, or you're PayPal.  This is intended to be a level playing field.  And, again, what we do encourage -- and there's been a lot of financial innovation away from traditional banks for electronic payment systems.  Lots of people use electronic payment systems, in dollars, very effectively.  And, you know, we'll continue to support those activities.  We want technology to evolve.

Q    Yes.  Do you believe that the rise in Bitcoin value was fueled by fraud?  Have you seen evidence of that?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  I'm not going to speculate.  I have no idea why Bitcoin trade is where it is.  I'm not commenting that it's high or low.  Again, I'm here to talk about the regulatory environment and warn people against illicit use.

Q    Hi, Secretary.  As a member of the Cabinet, the President today talked pretty extensively about his tweets about these four congresswomen.  Do you find the President's tweets racist?  And what do you make of white nationalists praising those tweets?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Again, I think the President -- I don’t find them racist.  The President just went on and clarified his comments.  I think he speaks for himself on that.  And he was very clear.

     But again, we’re focused on cryptocurrencies and then I’ll do some debt ceiling stuff.

     Q    Secretary, why do you think they’re not racist?

Q    If I could have a follow-up.


     Q    Mr. Secretary, why did you push back the 20-dollar bill redesign with Harriet Tubman?  Was it to help the President save face?  Because he has suggested that that redesign was done out of pure political correctness and even suggested she should be on a less popular bill.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Okay, well, I’ll take it we’re now going to switch off of cryptocurrency to some other things.  So I’m going to give you the benefit of that.  Then we’ll talk -- I’ll give you some brief debt ceiling.  I’m sure there’s some interest in that. 

     Again, there’s a lot of misinformation, okay, on this issue.  And I’ve received letters being accused of postponing this and everything else.  So, again, this is a non-political situation where the primary objective of changing the currency is to stop counterfeiting.  And if you look at the 100-dollar bill and what went into the 100-dollar bill, that was over a 10-year process.

     What people don’t understand is when it comes to counterfeiting -- and again, protecting the currency is my responsibility -- there are multiple ways we protect the currency.  Some of these are physical things that you can see, like when you look at the 100-dollar bill and you see the thread.  There are security features that you can’t see, okay?  There are security features that are limited to the government being able to see.  So we don’t advertise what all the security features are.  But these are very complex things that, once they’re developed, then require different machinery to be made and a different manufacturing process.

     So the new currency is not going to come out for a long period of time.  When people talked about the design -- and again, the design starts with the security features, okay?  There were some preliminary art- -- what I would call “artwork” -- not design.

And again, even in the most optimistic scenario of me staying through the President’s second term -- I’m not staying past the President’s second term -- this currency isn’t going to come out.  So this is not a political issue.  And again, we’re happy to comment on (inaudible).

     Q    Mr. Secretary, back on Harriet Tubman -- back on Harriet Tubman: You say it’s not a political issue, but with everything -- all the controversy swirling right now as it relates to race and things that have happened before -- is this an issue of race?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  No.  And matter of fact, okay, we’re going to do more research on kind of what’s been done at Treasury in the past.  At some point, we will be having to look at when we have the currency.  And at that appropriate time, we’ll address (inaudible).  I’m going to -- I’m going to --

     Q    And a follow-up, sir.  A follow-up.  Are you hopeful that the President -- sir, are you hopeful that the President --       

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Everybody is going to get one question.

     Q    Sir, are you hopeful that the President can talk about the economy at the NAACP convention, which he was invited to come and speak to?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Again, I’m not aware of whether he’s going to that or not.  But I always like him to talk about the economy because the economy is doing fabulous.  It’s the bright spot of growth.  And I’ll be very proud going to --

     Q    The black economy?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  The black economy is doing terrific as well.

     Q    Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  I have two questions for you.  And I think this will address some of the questions my colleagues have.  First of all, you said the President’s tweets, you find, were not racist.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  No, no.  Look, I’m not --

     Q    Many others find it racist, Mr. Secretary.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Okay.  Okay, can I --

     Q    You are a member of the Cabinet.  I want to know personally if you’re concerned that people see that tweet as racist. 

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Again, what I’m going to say is, we have a lot of important topics.  I’ve already answered my one comment on this.  I think I was very clear on this.

     Q    Respectfully, sir, I’m asking a different question.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Again, I think my answer is the same.

     Q    That you’re not concerned?  I don’t want to put words in your mouth.  I’d like you to speak to it directly, please.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Again, what I’ve already said is, I think the President clarified his comment.  I understand what the President’s comment is.  I’m not concerned by the President’s comment.  And again, that’s the last comment I’m going to make on this issue.  We have other important things to talk about.

     Q    On the debt ceiling -- can we go to the --

Q    Go ahead.

Q    Thanks.  And I'll follow up.  But on the debt ceiling, do you -- are you planning to raise the debt ceiling?  When?  And will that take place before the government runs out of money?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Okay, well I’m glad you asked.  Now we’re on a very important issue: the debt ceiling.

     Q    Well, the other issues are important too.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Unfortunately, as you know, I can't raise the debt ceiling.  That's -- it's Congress's job to raise the debt ceiling.  What I have said -- and, you know, given the importance of this, we run multiple scenarios of how we predict the government's cash flow.  I think, hopefully, everybody would agree that, to the extent we want to limit spending, we -- Congress has the right to limit spending.  But once we agree to spend money, we have to pay for it.  And the credit of the United States government is the utmost importance.

So the debt ceiling has to be raised.  One of our scenarios triggers a problem the first week of September, before they get back.  So I have urged Congress to raise it before they leave.

     Q    But wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  Just to follow up, do you see a government shutdown looming?

     Q    Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  With regards to --

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  I don’t see a government shutdown looming.  Again, that’s not an issue until the end of September, and I have no expectation that there will be a government shutdown whatsoever.

     Q    To follow up on the issue of the debt ceiling, is a short-term extension -- if you’re unable to get a longer-term deal that would punt until October -- is that on the table?  And can you describe the nature of your negotiations with Speaker Pelosi on this issue?  Reportedly, you guys had that phone conversation on Saturday night.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Yeah.  The Speaker and I have been speaking regularly.  I think we’ve had very productive discussions.  I also spoke to Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy and others over the weekend.  I’ve been working very closely with Mick and Russ, and I’ve had daily conversations with the President.  I met with the President this morning.  We updated him.  I expect to speak to the Speaker again later today.

     I think -- I think there is a preference on both parties, to the extent we can agree on the debt ceiling and a budget deal, that that is the first choice.  And I think we’re getting closer.

I would just comment that, you know, the President very much cares about the VA.  I’m just commenting in regards to the Speaker’s comment.  You know, the military versus the defense versus nondefense tends, at time, to be viewed as a Republican versus Democrat issue.  It’s not, let me be clear.

The Republicans all care very much about nondefense as well.  And we will make sure that there is enough money to support the military and what we need to do in the military -- the VA and everyone else.

Q    On what the President just now said -- he’s not concerned that white nationalists find common cause with him --

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Again, I’m not -- I’m not answering more of these questions.

Go ahead.

Q    Okay.  But, sir -- but, sir, may I -- sir, may I finish?


Q    You're a Jewish American, sir.

Q    I don’t want to interrupt my colleague.

Q    Do you have any concern serving an administration with which white nationalists seem to find common cause and a President -- and under a President who routinely says he has no problem with having the support of white nationalists?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Really, I -- to be -- to be honest with you, I find that question disrespectful to me, as Secretary of the Treasury.  I’m here talking about issues that are in my domain.  I’ve answered a bunch of your questions on this.

I am also on my way to DOJ to give a speech on anti-Semitism, okay?  So, again, I’m happy now to turn to people who want to talk about the debt ceiling and budget.

Q    Can you give, Mr. Secretary, a clear timeline for when you expect this deal to be made?  And on a separate but not unrelated issue, can you give us an update on the trade talks with China and when you expect to have a sit-down meeting?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Sure.  So, I mean, I think the leadership on both sides, and the President, would like to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.  And that’s why, you know, I am speaking to the Speaker and others.

And, again, let me just say this is team effort, although I’m directly negotiating with the Speaker.  I’m doing that at the direction of the President, and he’s taking input from a lot of people.

You know, I think we’re very close to a deal.  But, as you know, these deals are complicated.  There’s the topline number.  We want to do a two-year deal.  There’s typically offsets that have been negotiated as part of these deals.  That’s been done every single time.  So, you know, I’m very hopeful we can come to an agreement quickly.

But having said that, if for whatever reason we can’t agree on all these issues before they leave, I would either expect them to stick around or raise the debt ceiling.

Q    And on China?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  On China -- Ambassador Lighthizer and I have had several conversations on China.  With our counterparts.  We expect to have another principal-level call this week.  And to the extent we make significant progress, I think there's a good chance we'll go there a bit later.

Q    Mr. Secretary, just to be very clear, do you expect the debt limit to be raised on time?  In other words --

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Of course, I expect the debt ceiling to be raised on time, because I would say both parties -- there's no uncertainty that neither party nor anybody wants to put the credit risk of the United States government at risk.  So, yes, I expect that the debt ceiling will be raised.  And, by the way, the Speaker has said that; Mitch McConnell has said that.  Every (inaudible).

Last question.  Thank you.  Last question.  Go ahead.  Do you want to ask?

Q    Yes.  No, I just wanted to give you the opportunity for this --

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Last question.

Q    -- but thank you very much.  I wondered if you could address: How does the President feel about trade talks at this point?  And could you also tell us how he's feeling specifically about the job that his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is doing?  Has he talked to you about that at all?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  I have every reason to think Secretary Ross is doing a good job.  I've never heard anything otherwise.  Secretary Ross has been an important part of the trade team.  Again, this has been an integrated team, and I think the President is very pleased on trade.

I would say -- last pitch for the Speaker and others -- we'd like to see USMCA.  It's a very important economic package.  And I'm hopeful.  I know Ambassador Lighthizer is working with leadership on that.

Thank you everybody.

                                            END                     2:29 P.M. EDT 



Office of the Press Secretary


South Lawn


12:32 P.M. EDT

     ("Hail to the Chief" is played.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  That sounds nice, doesn’t it?  Beautiful.  Thank you very much.  And thank you very much.  Terrific talent.

Please sit down.  Please.

I want welcome everyone to the White House.  We are very excited to be hosting our third annual Made in America Showcase.  It's all about "Made in America."  (Applause.)  We just started this, and this is my third already.  And I just went around and saw these incredible companies that make everything from the THAAD missiles to beautiful boats.  And I said, "How would that boat do against the THAAD missile?"  And it wasn’t a good answer.  (Laughter.)  The boat is going to have a little problem, but that's okay.

But I just want to say the engineering -- inside, as you know, we have incredible things.  I'm going in right now to look.  I saw some of it yesterday.  Incredible things.  Made in the USA. 

We’re here today to celebrate and support the most incredible products in the world.  And this is just a very representative sampling, because we're making more product here than we ever have.

Joining us today are manufacturers from all 50 states.  And they are terrific talents, terrific craftsmen, terrific businesspeople.  We have hats from Wyoming, sandals from Florida, tabasco from Louisiana, Airstream trailers -- the Airstream is a great trailer; I've seen it for many years, and they're doing better than ever -- from Ohio, and custom-built motorcycles from the great state of Indiana.

We also have represented, and we have a lot of folks here from Litespeed Bikes, from Chattanooga, Tennessee.  As a result of moving certain of its operations back to the United States -- I love to hear this, because that's what I like: when they move back.  We don’t have to make product in other countries.  Its parent company has experienced a 70 percent -- and that just happened.  They just announced 70 percent growth over the last two years.  So they moved their operations back, and they're 70 percent up in growth.  So I want to congratulate you, Litespeed.  And I want to congratulate everybody.  That's fantastic.  (Applause.)

And also, a very special thank-you to KC Andrews with Gameday Ironworks in Oklahoma for making this beautiful presidential seal.  It is a beauty.  I think we have it displayed someplace right here.  And I specifically said, "How much?"  Because I want to buy it.  I don’t know if they gave me a good price, but we're going to get it.  We'll get it.  We'll put it up at the White House.  It's beautiful, and so many of their other projects and products are incredible.  It was forged from American pride and with America pride and American craftsmanship.  And it was 100 percent American steel.

Our steel industry is doing very well.  We put massive tariffs on dumped steel.  They were dumping steel.  Our steel industry was going out of business.  If I hadn’t been elected, you would have no steel industry right now.  It would be gone.  And we have not only steel, energy, and so many other things.  We have -- we're vibrant.  We have the hottest economy anywhere on Earth right now.

     Today, I also viewed boats that were proudly displayed by Cobalt Boats from Kansas and Freeman Boatworks from South Carolina, and a farm irrigation system from Nebraska's T-L Irrigation.  I want to thank those three companies.  It's not easy to get these big, beautiful products here, and you get them here.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.

I also want to share our appreciation to Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson for showing us the incredible THAAD Missile Defense System -- the best in the world, by far -- and for keeping the Sikorsky helicopter plant in Pennsylvania open, saving 465 jobs.

I called Marillyn a number of weeks ago.  I said, "I read a story where they're going to be closing your helicopter plant in Pennsylvania.  We couldn’t do that."  I said, "Marillyn, you got to do something.  I don’t want to…"  And I really appreciate it, Marillyn.  They're keeping the plant open.  Everybody in Pennsylvania is happy.  (Applause.)  And we will continue to make Sikorsky helicopters in Pennsylvania.  Thank you, Marillyn.

Some of the manufacturers represented today have been around for a long time -- more than a century, in a couple of cases.  Johnson Woolen Mills was founded in Vermont before the Civil War.  Today, Stacy Manosh is the fourth generation of her family to run the company.  And, Stacy, wherever you may be -- hi, Stacy -- please stand up, Stacy.  Congratulations.  That’s great.  (Applause.) 

Others are just getting started, like the Snake Bite Company in Missouri.  I thought it might be a snake.  It has nothing to do with snakes.  I'm happy about that.  (Laughter.)  And I looked at your product last night and it's incredible.  Kevin Kelly raised startup funding online just a few years ago, and now he’s selling specialty bottly [sic] -- bottle openers and so many other things on two continents.  And the product is amazing.  And, Kevin, congratulations.  That’s a great job.  That’s a great job.  Thank you very much, Kevin.  (Applause.)  Where does "Snake Bite" come from?  Where does that term come from?

MR. KELLY:  (Off-mic.)  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Ah, yep.  I get it.  Okay.  Well, it's been working, right?  It's been working. 

But while those here today create many different goods, you're also devoted to one of the greatest missions on Earth: making the best products, from the best materials, with the best workers anywhere in the world, right here in the United States of America.  Right?  Made in America.  Made in the USA.  Call it either way, but that’s what we're doing.  (Applause.)

And, you know, when I took office, I was told by the previous administration that manufacturing jobs would be disappearing.  There was no way.  They said you’d need a miracle.  Right?  You'd need a miracle.  Well, we have a miracle because we up -- we're up 600,000 manufacturing jobs since the election.  (Applause.)  So it's been an extraordinary resurgence of American manufacturing.

We've added more than 6 million jobs since I was elected, including over 1 million jobs in manufacturing, engineering and construction.  As I said, 600,000 jobs in pure manufacturing, and that number is going to go substantially higher.

Japan and other countries are at my absolute request, order -- call it whatever you want.  They're sending tremendous and building tremendous plants now in the United States.  We hadn't had auto plants built in many, many years.  And now we're having many in Michigan, in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, in Florida, in North Carolina, South Carolina.  Many, many plants are being built and being expanded.  And that was not happening.  Our auto companies and many companies were leaving the United States.  Now they're staying.  They have a big disincentive to leave.  We're not happy when they leave.  When they leave, it's not the same.

Last year, we saw the biggest increase in manufacturing jobs in more than 20 years.  Under my administration, manufacturing's share of total job gains is the largest it's been by any President in over one half a century.  And don’t forget, in the old days, they manufactured, so I'm competing against some pretty tough statistics, and yet it's over 50 years.  Unemployment has also reached the lowest rate in our country in over 51 years.  (Applause.)

And many groups -- I have to say, African American unemployment -- if you look at African American, Asian American, Hispanic American unemployment, it's the lowest it's ever been in the history of our country.  Women's unemployment -- the lowest it's ever been in over 70 years.  And soon we're going to have the all-time record for women's unemployment.

And today, American manufacturers are contributing $250 billion -- think of that -- $250 billion more to our economy than they contributed before this great election that took place in 2016.

We're heeding the wisdom -- and you people know because many of you are indeed manufacturers; in your own way, manufacturers with great talent -- we're heeding the wisdom of our Founding Fathers by restoring our economic independence and reawakening our industrial might.  And that’s what's happened.  Whether it's jobs or making something, that’s exactly what happened.

Previous administrations allowed foreign countries to steal our jobs and plunder our wealth.  They stole our wealth.  They stole so much, and it was allowed to go on so long.  But it's not going on any longer.  You take a look at what’s happening.  Look at today’s front page in the Wall Street Journal.  You’ll see where China has had its worst year in 27 years.  And I’m not looking for that.  But we had a deal with China, and they decided not to make that deal.  They said, “Let’s renegotiate.”  I said, “No, thank you.”  And we put tariffs on China -- very big tariffs on China.  (Applause.)

     And we’re standing up for the American worker like our country has never stood up for the worker before -- certainly not in the 100-year or 50-year era.  And I think we can probably go back right to the beginning, because nobody stood up for the worker like I’m standing up for the worker.

     To protect our defense industrial base -- which is probably about the most important, if you think -- we placed tariffs on foreign aluminum and foreign steel, which brought it not to a complete halt -- we still get some and they’re paying a lot of money right into the Treasury -- but it’s been amazing the difference that it’s had.

     And for our farmers, we’ve taken in tens of billions of dollars in tariffs from China.  But China stopped dealing with our farmers, so I asked our great Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, “What kind of number are you talking about?  What have they left?”  He said, “Sixteen billion dollars, sir, taken off the table.”  I said, “That’s okay.”  We’ve taken in much, much more -- many times that -- in tariffs.  So I’m going to give the farmers -- we’re going to help them out because they are great patriots.  We’re going to give them $16 billion.  And we just did.  Been approved.  Been everything.  And I approved it.  (Applause.)

So our farmers didn’t lose anything by the fact that China targeted our farmers.  They targeted the farmers.  They said, “You know, President Trump did great with the farmers.  The farmers love him and he loves them, so we’ll hurt the farmers.”  Well, the farmers are patriots.  I never -- I hadn’t had one farmer say, “Please make a fast deal, sir.  Please make a fast deal.”  The biggest beneficiary will be the farmers.

But the $16 billion that wasn’t spent, we’re putting back into the farm and ag system.  And the farmers are thrilled, I must tell you that.  (Applause.)

And we’re taking the toughest-ever action to confront China’s chronic trade abuse.  They were doing numbers on us for many years.  I watched Sleepy Joe Biden the other day talking about China.  “We would fight China on trade.”  Well, he didn’t do it for -- he’s been there for like 45 years.  And he didn’t do it in eight years because they ate our lunch during the Obama administration.

It was only recently that -- well, I mean, “recently,” but lots of warnings for the last period of time.  And then you have statutory constraints where you can only go here, here, here.  And we did that, right at the beginning.  And now they’re paying a very big price, and hopefully we’ll see what happens.

We’re going to have good relationships with China.  President Xi is a friend of mine.  He’s a good friend.  I used to say he’s good friend of mine; we’re probably not quite as close now.  But I have to be for our country.  He’s for China and I’m for the USA, and that’s the way it’s got to be.  And this should have never been allowed to happen.

We’ve been losing four, five -- and even more than that -- hundred billion.  Think of it: five hundred billion dollars a year, to China.  That doesn’t include intellectual property theft and loss.  That doesn’t include -- they say that’s $300 billion.  Who knows what that is?  A lot of people estimate it, but it’s a lot.  But they say it’s $300 billion.  So you add that to $500 billion.  So we’ve been losing $800 billion a year to China.

So, essentially, we rebuilt China.  They’ve done a great job.  I’m not going to take it away.  And I don’t blame China.  I blame our past Presidents and our past leaders for allowing a situation like that -- so ridiculous -- to happen.  And it’s that way -- other than the size of the number, it’s that way also for many other countries.  And we’re working on a lot of them.

We just approved -- and, again, it’s going to be subject to the House passing it, and, maybe, for political reasons, they don’t -- the USMCA.  That’s Mexico and Canada.  Great deal for the manufacturers.  Great deal for Lockheed, as you know, Marillyn.  You’re telling me when is it going to happen.

So we have to get the Democrats to pass it.  They may or may not, depending on how they feel, politically.  It’s all politics, unfortunately.  It shouldn’t be.  It should be love of our country; it shouldn’t be politics.  There should be no politics involved.  (Applause.)

So the USMCA will create up to 600,000 new American jobs, including 75,000 new auto jobs.  And now we need Congress to pass it.  So call up your friends.  The Republicans are totally onboard.  Call the Democrats; get them to pass it.  It’s -- believe it or not, it’s a deal loved by unions, by manufacturers, and maybe, especially, by the farmers.  It’s something that’s very, very popular.  So call your local Democrat congressmen.  I think the Senate will be, actually, very good.

We have a lot of bipartisan support, but they may not be able to show that support because the leaders may not allow that to happen because they think that’s a victory for Trump, and we don’t want to give Trump any victories, even though it would be very bad for our country.  But if it doesn’t happen, I have a better plan, okay?  So don’t worry about it.  You always have to have plan B, plan C -- especially in politics, I can tell you. 

We unleashed an American energy revolution.  And it is indeed a revolution.  Nobody thought it would be possible.  We’re now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas on the planet Earth.  Not even close.  (Applause.)

And I just had ANWR approved -- one of the largest sites anywhere in the world.  They couldn’t do it with Ronald Reagan.  They couldn’t get it done.  They’ve been trying to get it done for many, many years.  Many, many decades they couldn’t get it approved.  I got it approved.  That’s in Alaska.  One of the biggest -- maybe the biggest -- the biggest site in the world for oil and natural gas.

We passed massive tax cuts so that American companies can beat their foreign competition.  Now, you have a tremendous advantage now because you had an impossible disadvantage before and now we’ve given you, with what we’ve done, a tremendous advantage.  And we did it to keep jobs where they belong, right here in the United States of America.

As a result, almost 1,400 companies have announced that they’re bringing their jobs back to the United States from overseas.   And that’s just last year.  Think of that -- 1,400 companies bringing jobs back.  Who would think that’s even possible?  But now it’s the incentive.  They want to be in the United States.  (Applause.)

Early in my presidency, I ordered the federal government to live by two very simple but very crucial rules: Buy American and hire American.  You know, it’s called "America First," folks.  It was never that way.

I mean, for many, many decades, it was everybody else first and we were the people that took care of other people’s borders.  We’d protect other people’s borders, but we don’t want to protect our own border.  We’d fight for the right of other countries to have a strong, powerful border so nobody could come in, but our border was like a leaking sieve.  And that’s changed so rapidly and so much.  A lot of things are happening.

We’re building a wall as we speak, even though we have about seven lawsuits trying to stop it, from the Democrats and others.  But we’re doing very well and we’re doing well on the border.

Mexico has been of great help.  I told them -- I said, “Look, you’re going to help us.  If they walk through your country…” -- 2,000-mile walk.  Horrible things happen during that walk to people, especially to women and children.  Horrible things.  Two thousand miles up from Guatemala.  They walk through our country.  So many -- the percentage of rape, they say, is over 30 percent.  Think of it.  Remember when I mentioned that in my opening speech and everybody said, “Oh that’s such a -- such a terrible thing to mention”?  Well, what I said is very small compared to the actual fact: over 30 percent.  The crime -- human trafficking, mostly of children and women.  "Human trafficking," sounds like an ancient term.  You wouldn’t think it’s possible.  Human trafficking.

But the Internet has made human trafficking a much bigger business than it was ever, hundreds or even thousands of years ago.  The Internet -- a lot of good things happen with the Internet but a lot of bad things happen also.

So now our federal agencies are spending an additional $24 billion on buying your product.  We’re buying your product.  And I said specifically, “Let’s buy American.”  You have the advantage.  Before, you didn’t have any advantage at all.  Now you have an advantage.  If you make your product in America, you have a much better chance of getting the deal.

Today, I’m pleased to announce that we will begin our Buy American requirements, but even stronger.  Currently, a product can be 50 percent foreign, and it still counts as American-made.  Figure that one out.  In just a few moments, I will sign an executive order that will -- that will eventually raise these standards up to 75 percent and above so that domestic goods will have to have 75 percent American, and 95 percent for things such
as iron and steel.  It's going to be 95 percent.  We have great minds.  We produce great ore, great steel, great aluminum, great everything.  But we weren't using them.  Most of them were closed.  And in some cases, they blame the environmentalists.  Most of them were closed.  They're not closed anymore, or they won't be closed very long.
The philosophy of my administration is simple: If we can build it, grow it, or make it in the United States, we will.

When we choose American-made, something truly wonderful happens: Our communities thrive and flourish, our neighborhoods bustle with commerce, our children dream bigger and bolder, and the bonds of loyalty that unite us as citizens become closer, richer, and deeper than ever before.

That's how we carry on the “flaming torch of Americanism,” as President Warren G. Harding called it.  As Harding said, we are forever devoted “to safeguard America first, to stabilize America first, to prosper America first, to think of America first, to exalt America first, [and] to live for and revere America first.”  You never heard that before.  You've been doing this for a long time.

I was speaking to a couple of the folks that were responsible right here -- Freeman, for this great boat, of which they are setting records right now.  Records by a lot.  Not even close.  He said over the last three years -- where's Freeman?  Where are you folks?  Where are you?  Stand up, please.  Great job.  (Applause.)  And they were saying how well they're doing and that they've never heard this kind of talk before: "Build in America."  They didn't hear that.  In fact, it was the opposite.  They were trying to steal your business and build it overseas, build it in other countries, including China, many others.  But that's not what this is all about.  And this is 100 percent made right here.  Thank you.  Congratulate everybody, too, please.  (Applause.)

So thank you all for showcasing your awe-inspiring products today.  And they are absolutely incredible.  Thank you for pouring out your heart, your sweat, and soul to make our nation even stronger.  Thank you for your unwavering commitment to this magnificent land that we love so much.

And I just want to end by saying, may God bless the United States of America.  May God bless you all.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Appreciate it.

Okay, you have any questions on how well our manufacturing business is doing, press?  The press.  Wow, that's a lot of press.  Look.

Q    President Trump, who were you talking about in your tweet about going back to their home countries?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I don't mention -- I didn't mention names.  And I didn't do that.  But I will tell you, with our country -- and I think everybody in this audience, these are great manufacturers, great workers in our audience too; they brought a lot of their workers here.  If you're not happy here, then you can leave.  As far as I'm concerned, if you hate our country -- (applause) -- if you're not happy here, you can leave.  And that's what I say all the time.  That's what I said in a tweet, which I guess some people think is controversial.  A lot of people love it, by the way.  A lot of people love it.

But if you're not happy in the U.S., if you're complaining all the time -- very simply, you can leave.  You can leave right now.  Come back if you want; don't come back.  It's okay too.  But if you're not happy, you can leave.  (Applause.)

Q    Speaker Pelosi (inaudible).  Is that true?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, that's just a very racist statement, somebody that would say that.  So, Speaker Pelosi said, "Make America white again."  Let me tell you, that's a very racist -- that's a very racist statement.  I'm surprised she'd say that.

     John, go ahead.

     Q    Mr. President, three of the congresswomen that you talked about were born in America.  (Inaudible.)  What were you talking about?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, they're very unhappy.  I'm watching them; all they do is complain.  So all I'm saying is, if they want to leave, they can leave, John.  They can leave.

     I mean, I look at the one -- I look at Omar -- I don't know, I never met her.  I hear the way she talks about al Qaeda.  Al Qaeda has killed many Americans.  She said, "You can hold your chest out, you can -- when I think of America…huh…when I think of al Qaeda, I can hold my chest out."  When she talked about the World Trade Center being knocked down, "Some people."  You remember the famous "some people."  These are people that, in my opinion, hate our country.

     Now, you can say what you want, but get a list of all of the statements they've made.  And all I'm saying: that if they're not happy here, they can leave.  They can leave.  And you know what?  I'm sure that there'll be many people that won't miss them.

Q    But they're American citizens.  What do you make of the fact that they're American citizens?

THE PRESIDENT:  But they have to love -- they have to love our country.  They're Congress people.  And I never used any names.  But these are people --

Q    Are you okay with people thinking your tweets are racist, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT:  Quiet.  Quiet.  Quiet.  Quiet.

Q    Mr. President, are you okay with people thinking your tweets are racist, sir?


Q    I'm asking a question, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  These are people that if they don't like it here, they can leave.  And I'd be -- I don’t know who's going to miss them, but I guess some people will.  One of them is polling -- one of them is polling at 8 -- one of them is polling at 8 percent.  (Applause.)  One of them is polling at 8 percent.

So when -- when I hear people speaking about how wonderful al Qaeda is, when I hear people talking about "some people" -- "some" people with the World Trade Center -- "some people"?  No, not "some people."  Much more than "some people."

When I hear the statements that they've made -- and in one case, you have somebody that comes from Somalia, which is a failed government, a failed state -- who left Somalia, who ultimately came here, and now is a Congresswoman who's never happy; says horrible things about Israel.  Hates Israel.  Hates Jews.  Hates Jews.  It's very simple.

And if the Democrats want to wrap their bows around this group of four people -- one of them kept Amazon out of New York, tens of thousands of jobs.  It would've been a great thing.  And she kept Amazon from going -- it would've been a good deal.  I mean, could he have made better?  Maybe.  But tens of thousands of jobs, and New York has not been the same since that happened.  It's really hurt New York and New York City.  Amazon was going to go there.  They were going to relocate a major section of their business in New York.  She kept them out.  That was a terrible thing she did.  A terrible thing she did.

So here's the story -- here's the story: I see them complaining.  They're complaining constantly.  I watched Lindsey Graham today on Fox & Friends talking about the same subject --

Q    He says you went too far, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:   -- and, frankly, even stronger than what I'm saying.

Q    He says you went too far, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  He said they're "communists."  I'm saying that they're socialists definitely.  As to whether to not they're communists, I would think they might be, but this isn’t what our country is about.  Nevertheless, they're free to leave if they want.  And if they want to leave, that’s fine.  And if they want to stay, that’s fine.  But the people have to know.

And politicians can't be afraid to take them on.  A politician that hears somebody, where we're at war with al Qaeda, and sees somebody talking about how great al Qaeda is -- pick out her statement -- that was Omar.  How great al Qaeda is -- when you hear that -- and we're losing great soldiers to al Qaeda.

When you see the World Trade Center gets knocked down, and you see the statements made about the World Trade Center -- all the death and destruction -- I'll tell you what: I'm not happy with them.  And it's very easy to be -- say, "Oh, gee.  Well, it's okay."  If weak politicians want to say -- and the Democrats, in this case -- if they want to gear their wagons around these four people, I think they're going to have a very tough election because I don’t think the people of United States will stand for it.  (Applause.)

Q    Mr. President --

THE PRESIDENT:  John, go ahead.  Go ahead, John.

Q    Mr. President, let me see if I can sum up, sort of, what people are talking about here.


Q    Does it concern you that that tweet was seen as racist?  Lindsey Graham said -- he encouraged you to aim higher.  And does it trouble you --

THE PRESIDENT:  No, no.  He didn’t say about the -- he just said, "Don’t go…"  See, I disagree with Lindsey.

Q    Oh, okay.  But can I just finish?

THE PRESIDENT:  These are congresswomen.  What am I supposed to do?  Just wait for senators?  No.  These are four -- so I disagree with Lindsey on that.  That was the only thing.  He said, "Aim higher.  Shoot higher."  What am I going to do?  Wait until we get somebody else in a higher position?  A higher office?  These are people that hate our country.

Q    But -- but --

THE PRESIDENT:  Hey, John.  They hate our country.  They hate it, I think, with a passion.  Now, it's possible I'm wrong.  The voter will decide.  But when I hear the way they talk about our country, when I hear the anti-Semitic language they use, when I hear the hatred they have for Israel, and the love they have for enemies like al Qaeda -- then you know what?
I will tell you that I do not believe this is good for the Democrat Party.  Certainly, it's not the party that I've known over the years.

Q    But could I get -- could I just finish?  Does it concern you that many people saw that tweet as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point?

THE PRESIDENT:  It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.  And all I'm saying -- they want to leave, they can leave.  Now, it doesn’t say leave forever.  It says leave, if you want.

But what it says -- and what that -- John, what that says is: If they're not happy with the United States, if they're doing nothing but criticizing us all the time -- you see these people walking down, criticizing the United States.

We just hit the highest stock market in history.  All of these incredible manufacturers that are in -- these are great business people.  They employ many people, and we have workers with us, too.  They're having the best year they've ever had.  Can I say that?  Is that a correct statement?  (Applause.)

So -- and they're hiring more people than they've had.  And more people are making a good living than they've ever had.  We just hit 27,000-plus on the Dow.  It's the highest the stock market has ever been.  And you have to go by the election because the markets started going up the day after I won.  You know, they like to add all of that tremendous gain.  They like to try and give it to Obama.  The fact is, if I would’ve lost, the stock market would crash.  And if these people that I watch in those debates ever got their hands on the United States government, 401(k)s, the values of your company, everything else that we talk about we're so proud of, it’s down the tubes.  People will lose their money.  They’ll lose their wealth.  You’ll have a crash like you’ve never seen before.  And I’m really good at this stuff; I know what I’m talking about.

     Thank you all very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

     Q    Mr. President, why didn’t your threats about the ICE raids -- Mr. President, ICE raids.  Why didn’t they happen?  Was it (inaudible) scare people?
THE PRESIDENT:  The ICE raids -- the ICE raids --

     Q    Was that just to scare people, Mr. President?  Why didn’t your threats match the action?

     THE PRESIDENT:  The ICE raids were very successful.  People came into our country illegally.  Illegally.  Many were felons.  Many were convicted of crimes.  Many, many were taken out on Sunday.  You just didn’t know about it.

     Q    How many?

THE PRESIDENT:  In fact, I went to a -- I spoke to the head of ICE.  I spoke to a couple of people.  We had many people -- it was a very successful day.  But you didn’t see a lot of it because it was done --

     Q    How many?

     THE PRESIDENT:  A lot.  You’ll speak to them.  And I don’t -- I’m not even sure they should be telling you, but it was a lot.  And it wouldn’t have to be Sunday.

We’ve been doing this -- look, we have been removing MS-13.  They’re monsters.  We’ve been removing MS-13 by the thousands during my administration.  And I tell my people -- it’s much easier to go the other route -- but I say, “Focus on the criminals.  Focus on the people that are killing people, that are causing crime.  Focus on them.”  Much easier just to go to general population.  That’s easy.  But I don’t do it the easy way.

     We’re getting tremendous numbers of criminals.  And yesterday, it was just reported to me before I walked -- because I said, “How did that go yesterday?”  It didn’t have to start yesterday.  The truth is it started a number of days before yesterday, but yesterday was very successful.

     People come into our country illegally, and they go out legally.  Every person taken out had papers and we had court orders.  Okay, thank you.

     How about getting the manufacturers up here?  Come on up.  Come on up.

     (The executive order is signed.)

                                            END                1:07 P.M. EDT



Office of the Press Secretary


- - - - - - -



     By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to promote the principles underlying the Buy American Act of 1933 (41 U.S.C. 8301-8305), it is hereby ordered as follows:

     Section 1 Policy.  (a)  As expressed in Executive Order 13788 of April 18, 2017 (Buy American and Hire American), and in Executive Order 13858 of January 31, 2019 (Strengthening Buy‑American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects), it is the policy of the United States to buy American and to maximize, consistent with law, the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States.  To those ends, my Administration shall enforce the Buy American Act to the greatest extent permitted by law.

     (b)  In Executive Order 10582 of December 17, 1954 (Prescribing Uniform Procedures for Certain Determinations Under the Buy-American Act), President Eisenhower established that materials shall be, for purposes of the Buy American Act, considered of foreign origin if the cost of the foreign products used in such materials constitutes 50 percent or more of the cost of all the products used in such materials.  He also established that, in determining whether the bid or offered price of materials of domestic origin is unreasonable or inconsistent with the public interest, the executive agencies shall either (1) add 6 percent to the total bid or offered price of materials of foreign origin, or (2) add 10 percent to the total bid or offered price of materials of foreign origin less certain specified costs as follows.  Where the foreign bid or offer is less than $25,000, applicable duty is excluded from the calculation.  Where the foreign bid or offer is more than $25,000, both applicable duty, and all costs incurred after arrival in the United States, are excluded from the calculation.

     (c)  The policies described in section 1(b) of this order were adopted by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), title 48, Code of Federal Regulations.  The FAR should be reviewed and revised, as appropriate, to most effectively carry out the goals of the Buy American Act and my Administration's policy of enforcing the Buy American Act to its maximum lawful extent.  I therefore direct the members of the FAR Council to consider measures that may better effectuate this policy.

     Sec. 2 Proposed Rules.  (a)  Within 180 days of the date of this order, the FAR Council shall consider proposing for notice and public comment:

          (i)   an amendment to the applicable provisions in the FAR that would provide that materials shall be considered to be of foreign origin if:

               (A)  for iron and steel end products, the cost of foreign iron and steel used in such iron and steel end products constitutes 5 percent or more of the cost of all the products used in such iron and steel end products; or

               (B)  for all other end products, the cost of the foreign products used in such end products constitutes 45 percent or more of the cost of all the products used in such end products; and

          (ii)  an amendment to the applicable provisions in the FAR that would provide that the executive agency concerned shall in each instance conduct the reasonableness and public interest determination referred to in sections 8302 and 8303 of title 41, United States Code, on the basis of the following-described differential formula, subject to the terms thereof:  the sum determined by computing 20 percent (for other than small businesses), or 30 percent (for small businesses), of the offer or offered price of materials of foreign origin.

     (b)  The FAR Council shall consider and evaluate public comments on any regulations proposed pursuant to section 2(a) of this order and shall promptly issue a final rule, if appropriate and consistent with applicable law and the national security interests of the United States.  The head of each executive agency shall issue such regulations as may be necessary to ensure that agency procurement practices conform to the provisions of any final rule issued pursuant to this order.

     Sec. 3 Effect on Executive Order 10582.  Executive Order 10582 is superseded to the extent that it is inconsistent with this order.  Upon the issuance of a final rule pursuant to section 2 of this order, subsections 2(a) and 2(c) of Executive Order 10582 are revoked.

     Sec. 4.  Additional Actions.  Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall, in consultation with the FAR Council, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy, submit to the President a report on any other changes to the FAR that the FAR Council should consider in order to better enforce the Buy American Act and to otherwise act consistent with the policy described in section 1 of this order, including whether and when to further decrease, including incrementally, the threshold percentage in subsection 2(a)(i)(B) of this order from the proposed 45 percent to 25 percent.  The report shall include recommendations based on the feasibility and desirability of any decreases, including the timing of such decreases.

     Sec. 5.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

          (i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof, including, for example, the authority to utilize non-availability and public interest exceptions as delineated in section 8303 of title 41, United States Code, and 48 CFR 25.103; or

          (ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

     (b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

     (c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.



                      DONALD J. TRUMP                            


    July 15, 2019.


Office of the Press Secretary


“We want to build, create, and grow more products in our country using American labor, American goods, and American grit.  When we purchase products made in the USA, the profits stay here, the revenue stays here, and the jobs — maybe most importantly of all — they stay right here in the USA.” – President Donald J. Trump 

TAKING PRIDE IN AMERICAN-MADE PRODUCTS: President Donald J. Trump is honored to showcase the hard work of American producers from across the country. 

  • Today, President Trump is welcoming businesses from across the country to the White House to showcase the products that they make right here in America.  
    • Products from all 50 States will be showcased at the White House.
    • This year marks the third consecutive year President Trump has hosted a Made in America event at the White House.  
  • Businesses both big and small from a wide range of industries will showcase their incredible work.
  • American-made products being showcased at the White House include:
    • Zippo lighters made in Pennsylvania, Airstream trailers made in Ohio, Buck Knives made in Idaho, Nokona baseball gloves made in Texas, and more.
STRENGTHENING BUY AMERICAN REQUIREMENTS: President Trump is making sure the Government maximizes its use of American-made products.  
  • President Trump is signing an executive order taking steps to strengthen the standards used under the Buy American Act.  
    • This follows multiple other executive orders by President Trump aiming to strengthen Buy American and Hire American.
  • The President is directing his Administration to consider tightening the preference requirements for Federal acquisitions and when foreign products can be used.   
  • The President is committed to increasing the impact of the Buy American Act to the fullest extent possible. 
    • The Buy American Act creates a preference for American-made goods in purchases by the Federal Government.
RESTORING AMERICAN MANUFACTURING: President Trump is ushering in a new age of American manufacturing as factories roar back to life and blue collar workers thrive. 
  • President Trump followed through on his pledge to workers across the country that he would bring back American manufacturing – with more than 500,000 new manufacturing jobs created since the election.  
    • Manufacturing job growth soared to a more than two decade high in 2018, bringing opportunity to communities that had been left behind.
  • Manufacturer optimism has skyrocketed under President Trump, reaching a new record high last year.
  • Thanks to President Trump’s pro-growth policies, manufacturers are deciding to keep their factories running and jobs here in America.
  • Across the country, our Nation’s great aluminum and steel mills are roaring back to life thanks to the tariffs put in place by the President.