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  President Signs Tariffs Proclamations  CSPAN  March 8, 2018 7:36pm-8:01pm EST

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announcer: president trump signed two proclamations to at thetariffs on steel white house. saidessman chad brady exempting canada and mexico is a good first step and i urge the white house to go further to narrow the tariffs so they hit the intended target so they do not hit u.s. families. here is the president. he was joined by workers from the steel and aluminum industry. [inaudible]
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president trump: well, thank you very much, everybody. i'm honored to be here with our incredible steel and aluminum workers, and you are truly the backbone of america, you know that. very special people. i've known you and people that are very closely related to you for a long time. you know that. i think that's probably the reason i am here so i want to thank you. i also want to thank secretary mnuchin, ambassador lighthizer, secretary ross, peter navarro, mike pence, our great vice president. they worked so hard on getting this going and getting it done and people are starting to realize how important it is we have to protect and build our steel and aluminum industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and
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cooperation toward those that are really friends of ours, both on a trade basis and a military basis. a strong steel and aluminum industry are vital to our national security. absolutely vital. steel is steel. you don't have steel, you don't have a country. our industries have been targeted for years and years, decades in fact by unfair foreign trade practices leading to the shuttered plants and mills. the laying off of millions of workers and the decimation of entire communities. and that's going to stop, right? it's going to stop. this is not merely an economic disaster but it's a security disaster. we want to build our ships. we want to build our planes. we want to build our military equipment with steel, with aluminum from our country.
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and now we're finally taking action to correct this long overdue problem. it's a travesty. today, i'm defending america's national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminum. we will have a 25% tariff on foreign steel, and a 10% tariff on foreign aluminum. when the product comes across our borders. it's a process called dumping, and they dumped more than at anytime on any nation anywhere in the world and it drove our plants out of business. it drove our factories out of business. and we want a lot of steel coming into our country, but we want it to be fair and we want our workers to be protected and we want, frankly, our companies to be protected.
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by contrast, we will not place any new tax on product made in the u.s.a., so there's no tax if a product is made in the u.s.a. you don't want to pay tax, bring your plant to the u.s.a. there's no tax which we will benefit from the massive tax cuts we have in place. we have passed the largest tax cut plan in the country's history. and that has caused really tremendous success between that and regulation cutting and i think maybe regulation cutting every bit as much and we have a long way to go on regulations but we've already cut more than any president in history. so we're urging all companies to buy american. that's what we want, buy american. the action that i'm taking today follows a nine-month investigation by the department of commerce, secretary ross, documenting a growing crisis in our steel and aluminum production that threatens the security of our nation and also is bad for us economically and with jobs.
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the american steel and aluminum industry has been ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices. it's really an assault on our country. it's been an assault. they know better than anybody. other countries have added production capacity that far exceeds demand and fluttered the world market with cheap metal that's subsidized by foreign governments, creating jobs for their country and taking away jobs from our country. i've been talking about this for a long time. a lot longer than my political career. i've been talking about this for many years. for example, it takes china about one month to produce as much steel as they produce in the united states in an entire year because we've closed down so much capacity.
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plants closed all over the united states, and some plants i see massive plants from 40 years ago and they are working now in a little corner of the building. well, we're going to get those buildings open again and producing again and that's going to be a great thing for our country. and this is only the first stop. aluminum imports now account for more than 90% of the primary american demand. over the last two decades, nearly 2/3 of american raw steel companies have gone out of business. more than one third of the steel jobs have disappeared. six primary aluminum smelters, which is a big deal, have permanently shut down since just 2012. the actions we're taking today are not a matter of choice. they're a matter of necessity for our security. we're already seeing the national security benefits of this order. yesterday, in anticipation that we'd be here today, u.s. steel
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announced it's reopening a mill in illinois, a big one, and recalling 500 workers immediately. that's going on all over the country. and by the way, it went on with solar panels, which we did three months ago, and washing machines where they were dumping washing machines all over our country and now they're expanding plants to make washing machines. a skilled, trained work force in steel is a crucial element of america's national security and must be protected. after the signing of this proclamation, century aluminum in kentucky -- century is a great company -- will be investing over $100 million to restart and upgrade their idled military-grade high-quality aluminum production, which is also critically important to our national security. that's 150,000 additional tons of aluminum. and think of it. this is a closed plants and now they're doing 150,000 tons.
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production and additional 300 workers and ultimately many more hired in the great state of kentucky. a package of sometimes $90,000 per worker. our greatest presidents all understood from washington to lincoln to jackson to teddy roosevelt that america must have a strong, vibrant and independent manufacturing base. has to have it. president mckinley who felt very, very strongly about this, the country was very, very successful. we actually operated out of a cash flow if you can believe it. the protective tariff policy of the republicans, he said, has made the lives of masses of our countrymen sweeter and brighter and brighter and brighter.
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it is the best for our citizenship and our civilization, and it opens up the higher and better destiny for our people. many politicians lamented the decline of our once-proud industries and many countries denounced global excess capacity, but no one took action. all of our politicians, they saw what was happening to our country. i've seen it for 25 years i've been talking about it. talked about japan. talked about china. but the politicians never did anything about it, but now they are. our factories were left to rot and to rust all over the place. thriving communities turned into ghost towns. you guys know that, right? not any longer.
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the workers who point of order their souls into building this -- poured their souls into building this great nation felt betrayed but that betrayal is now over. i'm delivering on a promise i made during the campaign, and i've been making it for a good part of my life -- if i never did this -- i never thought i would -- i said, let's run for president, and look what happened. and part of the reason it happened is you. and my message having to do with you and other messages, also. security, military, the wall, the border. a lot of good messages, but this was one of the most important. my most important job is to keep american people safe, and as you know, we just had approved a $700 billion military budget, the largest ever. $716 billion next year. that means not only safety but it means jobs. it also means the use of steel from our country. but if the same goals can be accomplished by other means, america will remain open to modifying or removing the tariffs for individual nations as long as we can agree on a way to ensure their products no longer threaten our security.
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so i've put ambassador lighthizer, great gentleman, in charge of negotiating with countries that seek an alternative to the steel and aluminum tariffs. the fact is we've been treating -- really, we've been treated so badly over the years by other countries -- i think we've been treated badly by our politicians, by our presidents, by people that represented us that frankly didn't know what they were doing and we lose $8 billion on trade. every year $800 billion. it's been going on for a long time. got up to $600 billion and it keeps going but it's going to start changing. it has to change. we're negotiating now with china.
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we're in the midst of a big negotiation. i don't know if anything will come of it. they have been very helpful. president xi i have a lot of respect for, a lot of respect but i don't know if anything will come of that but we will cut down the deficits one way or another. we have a deficit with china of at least $500 billion and when you add intellectual property it's much higher than that. that's a year. due to our unique relationship with canada and next could he, we're negotiating right now nafta, and we're going to hold off the tariff on those two countries to see whether or not we're able to make the deal on nafta, national security, very important aspect of that deal.
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and if we figure the deal into nafta we won't have the tariffs on canada or mexico. if we don't make the deal on nafta and if we terminate nafta because they are unable to make a deal that's fair for our workers and our farmers -- we love our farmers -- and fair for our manufacturers, then we'll terminate nafta and we'll start all over again or we'll just do it a different way but we'll terminate nafta and that will be it. but i have a feeling we'll make a deal on nafta. if we make a deal or terminate. if we do there won't be any tariffs on canada or mexico. one other thing. some of the countries that we're dealing with are great partners, great military allies and we are going to be looking at that very strongly.
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the tariffs don't go effective for at least another 15 days. and we're going to see who's treating us fairly, not fairly. part of that is going to be militarily. who's paying, who's not paying. sometimes they don't pay 50 -- we subsidize a want of countries -- a lot of countries. sometimes they don't pay 50 cents on the dollar and they are massively wealthy countries. we have to stop that and that will enter into the equation also. very interesting. i saw a tweet just came in from elon musk who's using our wonderful space facilities and did a great job three weeks ago. he said, for example, an american car going to china pays 25% import duty but a chinese car coming to the united states only pays 2.5%, a 10-fold difference. so an american car going to china, think of that, pays 25% import duty. so we send our car over there, pay 25%.
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they send their car over here, 2.5%. that's from elon. but everybody knows it. they've known it for years. they never did anything about it. it's got to change. we will be doing a reciprocal tax program at some point so if china will charge us 25% or if india will charge us 75% and we charge them nothing, if they're at 50% or they're at 75% or 25%, we will be at the same number. it's a mirror tax. right now they'll charge us 50%, we charge them nothing. doesn't work. so it's called a reciprocal tax or mirror tax and we are going to be doing a lot of that. we really -- the first year we really set the stage. a lot of it had to do with structurally we had to go through certain procedures in order to get to this point but now we're at this point. american companies have not been
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treated fairly, and some american companies, frankly, have taken advantage of it and gone to other countries and developed in mexico massive automobile plants, taking our jobs away and taking our companies down to mexico to make the cars and then they send them right across the border without tax, without anything. so we lose the jobs. they make the cars. they get all the benefits. then they sell the cars back into the united states. so we're changing things and we are going to have a lot of great relationships. i think companies are going to be very happy in the end. i think that countries are going to be very happy. we're going to show great flexibility and, again, many of the countries that treat us the worst on trade and on military are our allies, as they like to call them. so we just want fairness.
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we just want fairness. we want everything to be reciprocal, and i think in the end we are going to have a lot of great jobs. we're going to have a lot of great companies all coming back into our country. you see it the other day chrysler announced they're leaving mexico. they're coming back into michigan with a big plant. you haven't seen that in a long time, folks. you haven't seen that in a long time. so because i sort of grew up with this group of people, i know a lot about the steel industry and i know a lot about the aluminum industry. we are going to bring them back. i thought maybe you feel like you want to say a couple of words and there is only about 25 million people watching so don't worry. you want to say something? come on up. please. >> my name is dusty stevens. i work in hallsville, kentucky. right now we're running at 40%
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capacity. two years ago we shut down 60% of the capacity when we had a downturn in the market. my father worked in the industry and worked at that plant for 40 years so this hits home for all of us. with these tariffs going into place, this gives us the ability to come at 100% capacity and invest $100 million in our plant and over 300 some-odd jobs will be brought back to the communities so i would like to say thank you. president trump: thank you very much. [applause] come on over. the one thing, also, the quality of our steel is really much higher. it's of a much better quality which, especially for certain things is very, very important. please. >> thank you, mr. president. hello, everybody. i'm scott. president of local 2227, and i'd like to tell you a story about my father during the 1980's.
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he lost his job due to imports coming into this country. and i just want to tell you what that does to a man with six kids is devastating. so i never forgot that look into his eyes in my household what that does to a family. you hear about it but when you're actually involved and it impacts you, it will never leave you. so with that being said for herman sarge, your story didn't end. for the folks at the union, it will never happen again. i appreciate the opportunity and i'm very humbled with this so it's very important to us. i never want to see it happen again. and i say that sincerely from my heart. i thank you for the opportunity for what you do. president trump: your father is herman? >> yes. president trump: well, your father herman is looking down. >> oh, he's still alive.
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president trump: then he's even more proud of you. then he's even more proud. anybody else? please. come on up. let's arm wrestle. come on up. >> hello. my name is ron davis. just wanted to say in 2009 my plant supplied a majority of the armor for the humvees and all the vehicles in theater. it's sad to say because all these imports coming in our country, our plants will be idled in september. so at one time our plant had 400 members. we will be down to about 71. these tariffs definitely have an impact and maybe not for our plant but for the other plants out there. so appreciate what you're doing. president trump: thank you very much. appreciate it.
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anybody else? anybody else? you're ok? you will accept great jobs, right? you are going to be very happy. you will see things changing very rapidly. so it's really my honor to start this process. it's going to be a very fair process. it will be very fair to other countries, especially those that treat us well. and we look forward to it and we look forward to having lots of mills opening up, lots of plants opening up, both steel and aluminum and other things. we will be doing other things, very positive things. but you are great people. would you like to take a picture in the oval office? i assume you've been many times in the oval office. come on. let's go and do that. >> signing? president trump: we are going to go in the oval office, sign this up. we'll go into the oval office and have a picture, ok?
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president trump: steel. [applause] president trump: it's about time, right? >> yes, sir. president trump: you have been waiting for a long time. >> yes, sir. president trump: pass it around. >> thank you, sir. president trump: mike, get up here, mike. [applause]
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let's go take a picture in the oval office. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. president trump: we're going to stop tran shipping, or make them pay. we have to do something. we're losing with china $500 million a year. we have to do something. and they transship. we're going to accept their products. but it's going to cost a lot of money from the standpoint of the transshipper. thank you very much, everybody. [applause]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: coming up tonight on c-span, a hearing on the federal response to the flu outbreak. then president trump signing a proclamation imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum. after that house majority leader kevin mccarthy and democratic with hoyer on the let it slide it -- government officials in charge of preparing for and responding to the flu outbreak testified before a house energy and commerce subcommittee. they talked about efforts to create a universal vaccine, assessinth