President Donald Trump touted America’s economic boom at a rally in Wisconsin during the same time as the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington on Saturday, April 27. Trump proclaimed at the rally that: “we’re now the number one economy in the world and it’s not even close” as the crowd began cheering: “USA! USA! USA!”
Trump also celebrated his administration’s accomplishments over the past months and announced before the roaring crowds that upon meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he was told that Japanese auto manufacturers will be investing up to $40 billion in U.S. manufacturing facilities. The announcement comes as a potential trade deal between Washington and Tokyo is being currently being negotiated. Trump and Abe met for a series of bilateral talks on trade and security on April 26 and 27 in Washington, leading up to a formal meeting in Japan next month and also concerning the upcoming G20 Osaka Summit.
During the rally, Trump told the crowds, “for so many decades we’ve been losing tens of billions of dollars to China and Japan … name any country and we lost, but we’re not losing anymore” adding, “we’re negotiating trade deals because every country has been ripping us off for years, and I really like the (Japanese) prime minister, he’s a friend of mine, but I said, ‘Mr. prime minister, we gotta do something,'” Breitbart reported.
The President then recounted his conversation with Abe, saying, “by the way, he started by saying he’s putting $40 billion into the United States for new car factories,” going on to talk about how “Toyota is coming in with $14 billion dollars. Many, many companies are coming in. And they’re coming in, frankly, to Michigan. They’re coming back, they want to be back, to Ohio, to Pennsylvania, to North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and what’s the name of this special place—it’s called Wisconsin.”
Trump has been focused on renegotiating international trade agreements ever since his 2016 campaign, making it one of his signature issues, along with tackling illegal immigration. His electoral victory in the Rust Belt states has been in particular attributed to his stance on international trade, in which he has called out past inaction by the U.S. government on China’s unfair trading policies.
Trump has also previously called out Japan to a lesser extent, but since becoming President in 2017, he has praised Abe’s decisions to push for investment in the United States. The two world leaders have developed a strong personal relationship and Trump said that Abe told him “Nobody’s ever talked to me this way.”
The President then went on to conclude his announcement by emphasizing what that investment will mean for the Rust Belt states that have been hurt the most by past U.S. economic policies: “So they’ll be investing shortly and it’s started already, $40 billion with a b, $40 billion dollars, and it’ll be a lot more than that.” He also added, “The poverty rate for Wisconsin families has reached the lowest rate in 22 years. The unemployment rate for Wisconsin workers has reached historic lows, has never been this low before, ever, ever, ever. Think of that.”