Remarks by President Trump in Cabinet Meeting
White House Cabinet Room Washington D.C. July 16 11:46 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Our Cabinet meeting. And we'll start with a prayer, please. Rick Perry.
SECRETARY PERRY: Yes, sir. Mr. President, thank you. Just as a - to put this all in perspective: On the 4th of July, I had a prayer that came true, which is a good thing - to pray and for the good Lord to agree that your prayer is a good one.
So Griffin James Perry came into the world on the 4th of July, at about 8:10 in the morning. So I have a grandson.
THE PRESIDENT: Good.
SECRETARY PERRY: And we had prayed about that for many years. And I think the reminder for all of us is that prayer is an incredible and powerful thing. It's a great tonic. And as we interact with each other, to keep all of us - our friends, our families, this country - in our prayers.
Every Wednesday morning, there's a Cabinet member Bible study, and it's been one of the great privileges for me, in this administration, to pray with the Cabinet members. So this is an extension of that.
So if you would bow your heads and join with me in asking the Lord to continue to bless this country:
Father, thank you for this table of men and women, of individuals who selflessly serve this country. And, Lord, we ask you to continue to give them courage, to give them wisdom, to be with this President as he deals with the challenges of the day; to continue to comfort him in the knowledge that you are in charge and in control.
We thank you for your blessings both in the personal way and the larger issues of this world that we live in, that we've been given the privilege to serve. We ask you to continue to keep our young men and women who defend our freedom safe and to bring them home soon.
And, Father, we ask you again to keep this President safe and to give him wisdom.
In your most holy name, we pray. Amen.
THE PRESIDENT: That was very good. Thank you very much, Rick. Well done. Well done.
Thank you all for being here in the Cabinet meeting. We have them quite often, and they really produce results. We're producing results I don't think any administration ever, in two and a half years - the first two and a half years certainly - has produced the results that we've produced. We have the strongest stock market in the history of our country. By the way, just in walking in, we just set a new record. Just went up today. We had - a new record was set. The Dow Jones went over 27,000 for the first time ever. It went over 26,000 for the first time ever, and 25,000 for the first time ever. So, we've set it. I think we're over 100 since election. We're over 100 times that we've set a new stock market record. And, to me, that's not just a record; that means jobs. It's all about jobs. It's jobs for this country.
We're bringing in many, many countries. They're coming in. They're coming in at a level that we haven't seen for decades. Car companies are coming in - Japanese car companies, in particular. Although, Germany called to say that they're going to be announcing some very big movement with respect to a certain company that I've demanded has to come, because they sell us a lot of cars but they make them in other places. We want them making them in the United States.
But Japan has 12 different companies building plants in Michigan, in Ohio, in North Carolina, in Pennsylvania. One is going to be announced in Florida. We are doing things that nobody thought were possible. I wouldn't have even said them, frankly, during the campaign because nobody would've been able to believe them. Nobody would've believed them.
Our unemployment numbers are historic, in the sense that we've never had better numbers. African American have the best numbers in the history of our country. Hispanic American - the best unemployment numbers in the history of our country. Women - 75 years. Asian Americans - best in the history of our country. We have the best overall unemployment, the best in 51 years. And, very soon, that will be historic - meaning the history of our country - if we keep going the way we're going, and it should be fairly soon.
So things are happening that we wouldn't have believed happening, or could happen.
The border: We're working very hard, with everybody - the Attorney General. We're doing everything we can do without getting Congress to act because the Democrats refuse to act. They refuse to do what they have to do and what they should do, and that's loopholes. We have loopholes that are so bad, you could drive a truck through them. They could be solved in 15 minutes; would have those loopholes taken care. Literally - everyone knows what they are; they're very simple. You know what they are. You know what they are better than the people in Congress.
But the Democrats, we need their votes. Not that we need them; we need their votes - because we have a very, very small margins both ways. The Senate is 53-47. The House is very tight. It's a very tight House, too. Very small number. We need Democrat votes to get up to what we need. That's why we didn't do it last time - first two years - because we only had - we needed 9 to 10 Democrat votes, and we were never able to get them for certain things. But we were - but wherever we could use the majority, we ended doing a fantastic job, including two Supreme Court judges. We got two Supreme Court justices put on, and many other things.
But we need Democrat votes to get the border fully secured, fully taken care of. We're getting close. Mexico has been fantastic. We had a meeting with Mexico. For 45 years, people have been trying to get Mexico to do what they're doing now, and they weren't able to get it. And we got it in one day - everything. Mexico now has approximately 21,000 soldiers on their land. They have very powerful immigration laws. They can do what they have to do.
We have the worst laws in the entire world. There's no law like this, where we catch them and release them. We catch them and we say, "Come back to court in five years." And nobody comes back. Two percent, to be accurate. I want to be accurate because I don't want the press to say I was inaccurate. Two percent come back. And those people, we wonder why - why they're coming back. They're the only ones. So we can straighten that out.
We are getting rid of thousands of people who are criminals. We're taking them out of the country - MS-13 - by the thousands. And they're going out quickly. We do it very professionally. We have papers on everybody we take out. All documented, all very legal. They come in illegally and they go out legally. So we've done a job.
On Sunday, there was a lot of activity, but you didn't even see it because it went very smoothly. The ICE folks and the people from Border Patrol, the job they do, is - they're heroes in so many ways. We have Border Patrol, though, being nurses and doctors and janitors.
And I very much want to thank Vice President Pence for taking a whole delegation of people down to see the things that one of our very radical-left Democrats call "concentration camps." They're not concentration camps. They're really well run. They're very crowded, in many cases. Actually, in the case of the children, they weren't crowded at all. People came back and they - even some of the news - which is shocking, frankly - said they were very well run, very clean, very nice for the children.
We had an adult center of males. Many of these people were criminals. We're not letting them out. We can't let them out. And it was crowded; very crowded. And the best way they can solve that is don't come up. If you don't come up, you're not going to be crowded. We want to take people in legally, and we want to take them in, frankly, through merit. We want our companies to be helped. All these companies that are pouring into the United States because we're the hottest country in the world right now. Every time I meet a leader - a president, a prime minister, a king, a queen - they all say, "Thank you, and nice to meet you. It's wonderful. By the way, congratulations on your economy. What you've done is incredible."
You read yesterday where China is down very substantially. They're having the worst year they've had in 27 years. I don't want to have them have bad years. But we made a deal and they broke the deal on me. The deal was done. It was practically done. It was just like a very short period of time, we would've had it finished. And they broke the deal. They decided they didn't want to do the things that they had agreed to. So I said, "That's all right." We put tariffs on. Twenty-five percent on $250 billion. It's obviously having a very negative - I don't want it to have a negative impact. Not having any impact on us other than positive, because China devalues their currency, and they're pumping money into their system. Our people aren't paying for that. There's been no inflation. There's been no nothing. Frankly, if we ever got interest rates down where they should be, and if they weren't raised so fast, you would see another, probably, 10,000 points on the Dow. We're setting records.
I don't want to act like - it's like somebody gets a 99 on a test and they're complaining. I don't like that. But I'm going to complain - (laughter) - because, frankly, we would've done even better had we had a Federal Reserve that didn't raise interest rates so quickly. And had we had a Federal Reserve - and there are many people on the Federal Reserve. You know, we have votes. It's called votes.
But if we had a Federal Reserve that didn't do quantitative tightening - they did quantitative tightening - $50 billion a month. That's a lot of money. Now they're doing $25 billion a month. Whereas, in Europe, they are pumping money into their system and they're lowering rates. In China, they are pumping money into their system and they're lowering rates very substantially. In Europe, the rates almost zero. And, in China, the rates are whatever President Xi wants. He's his own Fed. He's the Federal Reserve. He's - one man. He's the Federal Reserve. He's the President. He's everything else.
But, unfortunately, what they did was not appropriate. They are supposed to be buying farm products. Let's see whether or not they do - our ag, our great farmers. But out of the tariffs, I took $16 billion to make up for the shortfall. I went to Secretary Sonny Perdue. He's a fantastic gentleman. By the way, is he here?
DEPUTY SECRETARY CENSKY: He's in California today.
THE PRESIDENT: What happened? He's working on - he's working with the farmers. They have a big meeting in California. Good. I'm glad he's there. He can do more help there. He's done a fantastic job.
I said, "What was the amount at its highest that China pumped into the farmers in the form of purchase?" "Sixteen billion dollars." I said, "That's all right, we're taking in many, many times that in tariffs. We're going to help the farmers out." And I did that with $16 billion. It cost us nothing. Same thing as if they bought. And yet, the farmers don't even want that. They really just want to make the product and sell it. But it was just a small percentage of the tariffs that we're taking in.
And we have a long way to go as far as tariffs, where China is concerned, if we want. We have another $325 billion that we can put a tariff on if we want.
So we're talking to China about a deal. But I wish they didn't break the deal that we had. We had a deal where China opened up. We had a deal where there'd be - intellectual property theft would be taken care of because it's estimated that they steal $300 billion worth of intellectual property a deal. Who knows. Who knows. That's what they tell me. Three hundred billion. That's a big number. How they get to that number, I'll accept it - they're experts. That's what they do. But that's a big number.
You add that to the fact that, during the Obama administration, $500 billion a year was being lost to China. Five hundred billion. They did nothing. And, in all fairness, whether you go back to Bush, you go back to Clinton - you can go back a long way - the WTO. Once the World Trade Organization was formed, China became like a rocket ship.