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Vice President Mike Pence remarks during a Chamber Roundtable to Discuss Economic Reopening

 

The White HouseMalvern, PA – VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Well, Gene, thank you. And I want to thank the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry for bringing together so many great business leaders.

It’s wonderful to be back in Pennsylvania at a time when we are opening up America again and opening up America’s schools very soon. So, thank you all for coming. I’m looking forward to hearing your reports on the progress you’re making.

United States Vice President Mike Pence. (D. Myles Cullen)

United States Vice President Mike Pence. (D. Myles Cullen)

And allow me to being by bringing greetings from a great champion of Pennsylvania and a great admirer of the hardworking people of this state. I bring greetings from President Donald Trump, who really wanted me to be here today, to hear firsthand about the progress that Pennsylvania is making as we find our way through these challenging days in the midst of this unprecedented pandemic.

But we’re also — we’re also here to talk just about the progress that we’re making in this economy. And I do specifically want to thank Rajant for hosting us today. This is a company that has made extraordinary progress since it was founded shortly after 9/11. Their products are used by American soldiers and literally shipped around the world. And I want to extend my greetings and admiration to all the — more than 130 dedicated employees of Rajant who play such a vital role — a vital role in the defense of this country.

And it’s a company that’s been prospering under the leadership of President Donald Trump. You know, when we look back over the first three years of this administration, it’s just been three years of promises made and promises kept.

We cut taxes, rolled back regulation at a historic level, we unleashed American energy, ended the war on coal, and fought for the kind of free and fair trade that we were celebrating yesterday at the White House in the form of the USMCA.

And, with that — with that great progress, companies just like this one have been prospering. In fact, I’m told that Rajant doubled the number of employees over the past four years. And that after the President signed that historic tax relief just a few short years ago, Rajant invested in the people of this company and in equipment, and actually built this great building as a result of the growth and opportunities they were given.

And in the midst of this pandemic that we’ve all worked through over the last four months, Rajant managed to stay open, to have people work from home until they were able to return — return back to their place of work at the end of June.

And I must tell you that, being here at this company — a company that benefitted by the Paycheck Protection Program; one of literally tens of thousands of companies around America that were able to keep employees on the payroll, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic — I think is a tribute to the resilience of the people of this company, but I know it’s a great source of pride to the President and our entire administration that, at this point, we’ve actually approved some 4.8 million loans for small businesses that have been able to make their way through this — including 165,000 loans for Pennsylvania’s small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program.

In fact, I heard that Joe Biden is in Pennsylvania today, and he’s actually visiting a company that got a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program. And it’s just one more example of how President Donald Trump and I were determined, first, to focus on the health of the American people.

 


 

When he tapped me to lead the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the President said, “We have one mission and that’s to save lives.” And we spun up an unprecedented national response that — that reinvented testing; that created hundreds of millions of supplies — many of which made it here — and medical supplies all across Pennsylvania. We’re developing medicines, therapeutics, and we’re well on our way to developing a vaccine that we hope will be available even before the end of the year.

But all along the way, President Trump had an eye on American families — families right here in Pennsylvania — and an eye on businesses large and small. And that’s why we worked with Congress to pass the kind of rescue legislation that included the Paycheck Protection Program — direct benefits to families here in Pennsylvania, but also benefits to companies to be able to keep people on the payroll.

And as we go forward in dealing with this pandemic, I can assure you we’re going to continue to put families and businesses large and small that employ Americans first.

But the good news is — is that even in the midst of outbreaks that we’re seeing in Sun Belt states, we are opening up America again, even as we make sure that those states have the resources, the testing, and the supplies to meet this moment.

In fact, I’m proud to report, as evidence of the strength and resilience of this economy, that in the month of May, we saw a one-month job increase, the largest in history: 3.2 million jobs created and then another 4.8 million jobs in June.

At the height of the pandemic, we had literally lost 22 million American jobs simply because of the coronavirus. But as evidence of the — of the strong foundation in this economy that President Trump poured, the American economy is coming back. We’ve added more than 7 million jobs already back to the economy, and we just couldn’t be more proud.

In fact, right here in Pennsylvania, I’m told that 78 percent of small businesses are open, compared to 37 percent at the height of the pandemic. And as evidence of the strength of the people of this state, as Pennsylvania opens up again, in — in the month of May, Pennsylvania added 200,000 net jobs — restaurants and bars added 270,000 jobs, and 77,000 construction jobs.

So you’re in the midst of a Pennsylvania comeback. It’s part of the great American comeback. And I’m here to say how much we admire the strength and resilience of the people of this state and how we’re going to continue to work with you every step of the way.

But as I said, we think this economy is coming back, first, because of the resilience and the character and the strength and the faith of the American people. But we also see this economy coming back because of the solid foundation that was poured in those policies of the first three years of this administration of less taxes, less regulation, more American energy, free and fair trade.

 

[470cetner]

 

It’s a foundation on which we — we’re witnessing the opening up of Pennsylvania, opening up America, and a great American comeback.

But I know, not far from here, Joe Biden is at another company, talking about his plans for the economy going forward. And I think the choice has never been clearer for the American people.

It’s remarkable to think that under the Obama-Biden administration, we — this economy lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs. In fact, Pennsylvania lost 51,000 manufacturing jobs.

But in the first three years of our administration, 500,000 manufacturing jobs were added because of the policies of this President.

Where President Trump cut taxes, Joe Biden has already announced plans to raise taxes by $4 trillion.

Where President Trump has actually signed more legislation cutting federal red tape than any President in American history, Joe Biden is already making plans to expand their government takeover of healthcare and implement his own version of the Green New Deal, stifling the American economy and costing jobs.

Where President Trump unleased American energy, we know that under Joe Biden, the war on coal would be back. And in fact, Joe Biden, not long ago, said that coal miners needed to, quote, “learn to code.”

And when it comes to trade, this President stood strong on the — on the trade imbalance and the trade abuses that we experienced with regard to China, and he renegotiated the NAFTA agreement. The USMCA took effect just a few short days ago, and, by contrast, Joe Biden would take us back to the era of economic surrender to China and to seeing American jobs — American jobs fleeing this country.

(An audio system malfunction occurs.)

(Inaudible) all across the state of Pennsylvania. And the truth is that the choice has never been clearer and the stakes have never been higher.

I just want to promise you that, in the days ahead, we’re going to work our hearts out to carry that message all across Pennsylvania and all across America.

I’m grateful that you’re here. I’m anxious to hear your stories about the progress that Pennsylvania has made opening up this state and this nation again. I want to thank you for — for your courageous leadership in these challenging times. And I want to thank you for — for your support for an agenda that — that revived this economy, rebuilt our military. We saw a record number of conservatives appointed to our courts at every level.

In a very real sense, before this pandemic struck, we were well on our way to America great again. And I thank you for your support, in the days ahead, for an agenda that will get this economy all the way back and then some; will bring us back better and stronger and more prosperous than ever before. In a word, we going to make America great again, again with your support.

So thank you very much and God bless you all. It’s good to be in Pennsylvania. (Applause.)

(The roundtable discussion commences.)

(The roundtable discussion concludes.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the second term of the economic agenda is going to build on the foundation that we poured in the first three years. I mean, it’s remarkable to think — and I said this earlier — that under the Obama-Biden administration, we lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs. I remember when the last President was asked about bringing manufacturing jobs back, he actually said — in the summer of 2016, he said he didn’t know how you were going to bring back manufacturing jobs. He says, “What do you have, a magic wand?”

Well, we didn’t need a magic wand; we just needed a job creator in the Oval Office. Because in the first three years of this administration, with less taxes, less regulation, more low-cost American energy, and better trade deals, we saw this economy create 500,000 manufacturing jobs as a part of more than 7 million jobs created.

And so, I think what you will see in the next four years is the President is going to continue to advance the kind of pro-growth policies that have really — that really created the foundation under this economy.

But to hear the President tell it, we’re — we actually believe not only can we bring this economy back, but we can — we think — we think 2021 could be one of the greatest years in the history of the American economy.

But it’s all going to be about the choice the American people make. It is remarkable for me that Joe Biden, just a few short days ago, said he wanted to raise taxes on the American people in the middle of a pandemic. In the middle of time when the American economy is — is getting back on its feet, his first agenda item is to raise taxes on businesses across this country.

And what the President and I are going to do is continue to build on the momentum, looking for opportunities to let Americans keep more of what they earn. We’re going to look for ways to lower business taxes even further.

But one of the things we’re also going to be doing is working to create an environment where we see a number of our most important industries come back to America as well. And I can tell you that we are currently — we’re currently focusing a great deal of energy on strategies that that we’ll see — critical manufacturing and particularly in the area of healthcare return to this country.

 


 

We’ve met the moment. We’ve established what we call Operation Air Bridge. We brought in personal protective equipment literally from around the world to make sure states have what they need, when they needed it. We’re doing that, as we speak, in Sun Belt states today. We’re actually told that PPE supplies in the most impacted states are strong.

But one of the things that we observed was that a number of our personal protective equipment items are actually manufactured overseas, predominately. And so we’re going to be looking for the kind of incentives that will encourage companies to bring those jobs back to the United States both for the economic growth that that will mean, but also for the health security and the economic security that that will mean.

So it’s — and I think, as you see — going forward, you’ll see this President bring forward the kind of healthcare reform that’ll focus on lowering the cost of healthcare without growing the size of government. We’ll bring back — we’ll bring out immigration reforms that are based on merit-based immigration. All of these are just a small sample of what we’ll be doing in the next four years.

So — but get ready. I promise you, in the next four months, you’re going to be hearing a lot about the future and a lot about the choice. And as I said, I don’t think the choice has ever been clearer in my lifetime. I think it’s — it’s a choice between continuing to grow and strengthen the American economy and what we know has always worked in this free market economy that we enjoy versus more taxes, more government, more regulation, and more of the kind of economic stagnation that that’s always brought.


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