Davos Congress Centre Davos, Switzerland January 22 12:33 P.M. CET
Thank you very much. Please come on up, Roberto and Larry. Robert, Steve, come on up.
Good afternoon. We've had a tremendous two days here. We'll be heading back right after this conference, and I've just concluded some additional meetings. We've had a lot of them. I think Davos has treated us really beautifully. It's been a tremendous success. Everyone is talking about America's unprecedented economic success. It's really the talk of the town, so to speak.
Since my election, America has gained over 7 million new jobs. The unemployment rate is now the lowest in over half a century. The average unemployment rate for my administration is the lowest of any U.S. President in recorded history, which is very nice; we have some good ones. We have some bad ones too, by the way.
Unemployment rates among African American, Hispanic American, Asian Americans has reached a record low in the history of our country - the lowest. African American youth unemployment has reached the lowest in the history of our country. So proud of that. African American poverty numbers have plummeted to their lowest rate ever recorded. Doing really well.
Unemployment rate for women has reached the lowest level in almost 70 years. And the veterans unemployment rate dropped to a record low. Unemployment rate for disabled Americans has reached its all-time record low also. These are incredible numbers, Rob.
Workers without a high school diploma have received the - and achieved the lowest unemployment rate ever in recorded history. And that's so important. Without a high school diploma - we have a lot of great people that don't have a high school diploma. So we have record-low unemployment.
A record number of young Americans are now employed. We have the highest number of people working in our country that we've ever had before. We've never had anything even close. We're almost up to 160 million.
And we've lifted 10 million people off of welfare. And you know all about food stamps; we talk about it all the time. But millions and millions of people don't need food stamps anymore. It's not that we've lifted them off, which we have, but they don't need them anymore; they have jobs. They're doing really well.
The U.S. stock markets have soared and they've reached the highest point that they've ever, ever had. We've made at least $19 trillion, in terms of wealth - in terms of wealth creation for our country, beyond the stock markets.
And we are now, by far, the biggest economy in the world. China would have caught us. They were getting very close. It was anticipated that, in 2019 - this is for many years; I'm not telling you any secrets - that, by 2019, China would become the largest economy in the world. And right now we're much larger. But we have a great new deal with China. A great deal.
And we have, I would say, our best relationship that we've ever had with China, on top of everything else.
And we're starting phase two. Phase one turned out to be much bigger than we anticipated, because we have intellectual property protections. We have - many of the financial deals and aspects of the financial deals that we wanted, we got done, and other things.
In addition to the farmers, we've got the total, complete package for the farmers. And we think that'll - we estimate that will be anywhere between $40- and $50 billion. The number, I think, is going to be closer to $50 billion. The most they've ever done is $16 [billion]. So we go from $16 [billion] to anywhere from $40- to $50 billion that they'll be purchasing.
We're an economic powerhouse like, actually, we've never been. Jobs, factories, companies are pouring back into the United States. That's one of the reasons I've been in Davos, is we have had conversations with other leaders of other countries where we've traditionally had tremendous deficits.
I say, "You have to move factories and plants back here." They took a lot of them. They actually took a lot of them, and now they're going to move them back. They're not going to move them back; the companies are coming back because everybody wants to be here. But the countries also understand that we have to balance out our trade, and we're doing incredibly well in that way.
And one of the people that was very important for me to meet from the World Trade Organization is Roberto Azevêdo. And he is a highly respected man. He happens to be this gentleman right here. I thought I'd have him say a few words.
But the World Trade Organization - as you know, I've had a dispute running with them for quite a while, because our country hasn't been treated fairly. China is viewed as a developing nation. India is viewed as a developing nation. We're not viewed a developing nation. As far as I'm concerned, we're a developing nation, too. But they got tremendous advantages by the fact that they were considered "developing" and we weren't. And they shouldn't be. But if they are, we are. And we're talking about a whole new structure for the deal, or we'll have to do something.
But the World Trade Organization has been very unfair to the United States for many, many years. And without it, China wouldn't be China, and China wouldn't be where they are right now. I mean, China - that was the vehicle that they used. And I give them great credit. And I also don't give the people that were in my position great credit, because, frankly, they let that all happen. But the vehicle was the World Trade Organization.
And Roberto and I have a tremendous relationship, and we're going to do something that I think will be very dramatic. He'll be coming with a lot of his representatives to Washington sometime - maybe next week or the week after - and we'll start working on it.
So I'd like to introduce, just for - briefly - Roberto, and say a few words on behalf of the WTO. And then I'm going to introduce Larry Kudlow to say exactly where we are, in terms of our economy. Some of you know, but we've had some tremendous numbers just over the very recent past.
So, please, Roberto.
Well, thank you, Mr. President. And I think it's fair to say that we have been saying, for quite some time, that if the multilateral system, if the WTO is to deliver and perform its role in today's global economy, it has to be updated. It has to be changed. It has to be reformed.
This is an agenda that is squarely before members. I don't think anybody in Geneva misses the point. I think they understand that the - the system has not been functioning properly in many areas. That's something that we're trying to address.
I'm very happy that, in the conversation today with President Trump, he agreed that this is something that needs to happen; the WTO has to change. We are committed to effect those changes. And this is something that we're serious about.
And I am going to be, together with President Trump, as soon as possible, discussing what needs to change, what needs to be effected in the WTO, and we're committed to doing that.
And, of course, I will be talking to all of the other WTO members, making sure that they all understand that this is serious. This is a path that we all have to be on together if we want to make the WTO relevant and performing to today's requirements, frankly.
So thank you very much, Mr. President. It's an honor to be with you and with everybody else. Thank you.
Thank you very much. Great.
Larry, please. Larry Kudlow.
Oh, thank you, sir. So I think we're coming into the new year with a lot of positive momentum in the economy. And, again, I want to repeat the President's speech yesterday: These are transformational free enterprise policies, lower tax rates across the board, deregulation, energy independence, and breaking down trade barriers for better deals for exporting.
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