President Trump announced two new executive orders on foreign trade rules at the White House Friday, but did not actually sign the orders at the ceremony.
During his address before signing the orders, he discussed trade deficits reaching more than $700 billion last year and “thousands of factories being stolen from our country.” He pledged that under his administration, “voiceless Americans will now have a voice in the White House” and he promised to “put an end to the theft of prosperity.”
Furthermore, the president claimed his new executive orders regarding trade will clearly send the message that America will finally begin to “create a level playing field” and “defend our industries for American workers” after many decades of defeat.
Trump also quoted a statistic that “93 percent of manufacturers are optimistic about the future,” calling it a “record high” after his recent actions to bring more factories back to the U.S. have set the stage for a revival of American manufacturing.
He stated that the first executive order aims to fully collect all duties imposed on foreign importers that have been cheating the system, and it will enforce severe penalties on those who fail to comply.
In his second directive targeting trade, Trump commissioned a “first ever comprehensive review on trade deficits” and any trade rule violations , or “trade abuses,” that have negatively impacted the U.S. He claimed the review will be overseen by Secretary of Labor Wilbur Ross.
After Trump, Ross and Pence had spoken, the President walked out of the room, appearing to forget to actually sign the orders. The Vice-President picked up the orders off the desk and followed him out.
Watch Trump’s full speech below.
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