United Nations Headquarters New York, New York September 24 10:12 A.M. EDT
Thank you very much. Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, distinguished delegates, ambassadors, and world leaders:
Seven decades of history have passed through this hall, in all of their richness and drama. Where I stand, the world has heard from presidents and premiers at the height of the Cold War. We have seen the foundation of nations. We have seen the ringleaders of revolution. We have beheld saints who inspired us with hope, rebels who stirred us with passion, and heroes who emboldened us with courage - all here to share plans, proposals, visions, and ideas on the world's biggest stage.
Like those who met us before, our time is one of great contests, high stakes, and clear choices. The essential divide that runs all around the world and throughout history is once again thrown into stark relief. It is the divide between those whose thirst for control deludes them into thinking they are destined to rule over others and those people and nations who want only to rule themselves.
I have the immense privilege of addressing you today as the elected leader of a nation that prizes liberty, independence, and self-government above all. The United States, after having spent over two and a half trillion dollars since my election to completely rebuild our great military, is also, by far, the world's most powerful nation. Hopefully, it will never have to use this power.
Americans know that in a world where others seek conquest and domination, our nation must be strong in wealth, in might, and in spirit. That is why the United States vigorously defends the traditions and customs that have made us who we are.
Like my beloved country, each nation represented in this hall has a cherished history, culture, and heritage that is worth defending and celebrating, and which gives us our singular potential and strength.
The free world must embrace its national foundations. It must not attempt to erase them or replace them.
Looking around and all over this large, magnificent planet, the truth is plain to see: If you want freedom, take pride in your country. If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. And if you want peace, love your nation. Wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their own country first.
The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.
It is why we in the United States have embarked on an exciting program of national renewal. In everything we do, we are focused on empowering the dreams and aspirations of our citizens.
Thanks to our pro-growth economic policies, our domestic unemployment rate reached its lowest level in over half a century. Fueled by massive tax cuts and regulations cuts, jobs are being produced at a historic rate. Six million Americans have been added to the employment rolls in under three years.
Last month, African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American unemployment reached their lowest rates ever recorded. We are marshaling our nation's vast energy abundance, and the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. Wages are rising, incomes are soaring, and 2.5 million Americans have been lifted out of poverty in less than three years.
As we rebuild the unrivaled might of the American military, we are also revitalizing our alliances by making it very clear that all of our partners are expected to pay their fair share of the tremendous defense burden, which the United States has borne in the past.
At the center of our vision for national renewal is an ambitious campaign to reform international trade. For decades, the international trading system has been easily exploited by nations acting in very bad faith. As jobs were outsourced, a small handful grew wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
In America, the result was 4.2 million lost manufacturing jobs and $15 trillion in trade deficits over the last quarter century. The United States is now taking that decisive action to end this grave economic injustice. Our goal is simple: We want balanced trade that is both fair and reciprocal.
We have worked closely with our partners in Mexico and Canada to replace NAFTA with the brand new and hopefully bipartisan U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Tomorrow, I will join Prime Minister Abe of Japan to continue our progress in finalizing a terrific new trade deal.
As the United Kingdom makes preparations to exit the European Union, I have made clear that we stand ready to complete an exceptional new trade agreement with the UK that will bring tremendous benefits to both of our countries. We are working closely with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on a magnificent new trade deal.
The most important difference in America's new approach on trade concerns our relationship with China. In 2001, China was admitted to the World Trade Organization. Our leaders then argued that this decision would compel China to liberalize its economy and strengthen protections to provide things that were unacceptable to us, and for private property and for the rule of law. Two decades later, this theory has been tested and proven completely wrong.
Not only has China declined to adopt promised reforms, it has embraced an economic model dependent on massive market barriers, heavy state subsidies, currency manipulation, product dumping, forced technology transfers, and the theft of intellectual property and also trade secrets on a grand scale.
As just one example, I recently met the CEO of a terrific American company, Micron Technology, at the White House. Micron produces memory chips used in countless electronics. To advance the Chinese government's five-year economic plan, a company owned by the Chinese state allegedly stole Micron's designs, valued at up to $8.7 billion. Soon, the Chinese company obtains patents for nearly an identical product, and Micron was banned from selling its own goods in China. But we are seeking justice.
The United States lost 60,000 factories after China entered the WTO. This is happening to other countries all over the globe.
The World Trade Organization needs drastic change. The second-largest economy in the world should not be permitted to declare itself a "developing country" in order to game the system at others' expense.
For years, these abuses were tolerated, ignored, or even encouraged. Globalism exerted a religious pull over past leaders, causing them to ignore their own national interests.
But as far as America is concerned, those days are over. To confront these unfair practices, I placed massive tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese-made goods. Already, as a result of these tariffs, supply chains are relocating back to America and to other nations, and billions of dollars are being paid to our Treasury.
The American people are absolutely committed to restoring balance to our relationship with China. Hopefully, we can reach an agreement that would be beneficial for both countries. But as I have made very clear, I will not accept a bad deal for the American people.
As we endeavor to stabilize our relationship, we're also carefully monitoring the situation in Hong Kong. The world fully expects that the Chinese government will honor its binding treaty, made with the British and registered with the United Nations, in which China commits to protect Hong Kong's freedom, legal system, and democratic ways of life. How China chooses to handle the situation will say a great deal about its role in the world in the future. We are all counting on President Xi as a great leader.
The United States does not seek conflict with any other nation. We desire peace, cooperation, and mutual gain with all. But I will never fail to defend America's interests.
One of the greatest security threats facing peace-loving nations today is the repressive regime in Iran. The regime's record of death and destruction is well known to us all. Not only is Iran the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism, but Iran's leaders are fueling the tragic wars in both Syria and Yemen.
At the same time, the regime is squandering the nation's wealth and future in a fanatical quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. We must never allow this to happen.
To stop Iran's path to nuclear weapons and missiles, I withdrew the United States from the terrible Iran nuclear deal, which has very little time remaining, did not allow inspection of important sites, and did not cover ballistic missiles.
Following our withdrawal, we have implemented severe economic sanctions on the country. Hoping to free itself from sanctions, the regime has escalated its violent and unprovoked aggression. In response to Iran's recent attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, we just imposed the highest level of sanctions on Iran's central bank and sovereign wealth fund.
All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran's bloodlust. As long as Iran's menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted; they will be tightened. Iran's leaders will have turned a proud nation into just another cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches.
Read the full transcript HERE
You can visit a collection of all White House posts by clicking here.