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President Donald Trump was warmly welcomed by union workers attending the 2017 North America’s Building Trades Union legislative conference, as he promised to restore American jobs.
“I’m not, and I don’t want to be the president of the world. I’m the president of the United States, and from now on it’s going to be America first,” Trump said as the crowd of workers applauded.
Trump criticized American leaders of the past for listening to “failed consultants” instead of the American worker, allowing their jobs to be shipped overseas.
“Washington and Wall Street have done very, very well for themselves,” he said. “Now it’s your turn and you’re going to be also sharing the wealth.”
Trump boasted that he stopped the Trans Pacific Partnership and would fight to renegotiate other trade deals like NAFTA that threatened American jobs. He also received applause after promoting his decision to start the Keystone pipeline.
“The era of economic surrender is over,” he said.
After taking the stage, Trump singled out each building union, prompting a rallying cry from each group of workers that it represented.
“You’re the backbone of America, with the talent in this room, we can build any city at any time and we can build it better than anyone,” Trump said.
He specifically cited the story of the Empire State Building that was constructed in just 13 months by American workers. That spirit, he asserted, would drive his economic goals going forward.
The workers laughed after Trump showed a lengthy chart of regulations and permits required to construct a highway.
“Nowadays you couldn’t even get a building permit or approval in that amount of time,” Trump said, promising to cut the regulations and permitting.
Trump reminded them that they had a builder in the Oval Office, and urged both Democrats and Republicans to come together for a massive trillion dollar infrastructure spending bill.
“Standing before me today, in this very hall, are the men and women who if given the chance can transform these communities,” he said. “You are the citizens who can rebuild our cities, revive our industries, and renew our beloved country and I know you will stop at nothing to get the job done.”