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Reaction to Trump’s State of the Union Address

Jan. 31, 2018
Reactions were mixed from a variety of organizations including NAM, US Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Following President Trump’s first State of the Union address on January 30th, a number of organizations released comments.

Here are some of those reactions:


“It was a powerful and historic moment when the President of the United States recognized Steve Staub, Sandy Keplinger and Corey Adams of NAM member Staub Manufacturing Solutions. Hosting them in the First Lady’s box was another demonstration of where the President places manufacturers—in the best seats.

 “Their story is the story of manufacturers across the country who are confident in our future, more optimistic than ever before and empowered to invest in our people and our communities. Tonight, President Trump once again showed the American people the high value he places on manufacturing in America.

 “The President made 2017 the Year of the Manufacturer with his unrelenting focus on improving the lives of manufacturing workers. Now he is clearly aiming to make 2018 another banner year for manufacturers in America. The NAM and manufacturers across this country stand at the ready to work with leaders in Congress to advance a bold and ambitious agenda to rebuild our nation’s broken infrastructure, upskill our workforce for modern manufacturing jobs, deliver further regulatory relief for the men and women who make things in America, and finally provide a pathway to legal status for those young immigrants who know no other country than ours. That is the path we must take in order to build on the momentum of tax reform and reach new heights in 2018.”

---  Jay Timmons, CEO National Association of Manufacturers

Trade Policy

President Trump, in his first State of the Union address, mentioned both trade and manufacturing policy, but did not delve into specifics despite outstanding trade cases like the Section 232 investigation into steel imports. 

"While I’m pleased the president touched on trade and manufacturing in his State of the Union address, rhetoric alone doesn’t translate into policy. For instance, we’ve been waiting since April for relief from steel imports. President Trump could act on the Section 232 investigation tomorrow.

"Meanwhile, China has yet to make a meaningful concession on its state-led mercantilism, despite two meetings between presidents Trump and Xi. This speech won’t change China’s behavior and defend American jobs. Only action will. It’s time for the president’s policies and actions to match his talk."

--- Scott Paul, President American Alliance for Manufacturing 


"President Trump is right to highlight the need to invest in America's infrastructure, and also to address the excessive length of time it takes for infrastructure projects to clear the federal regulatory review process. The challenge will be to get the details right. In particular, any infrastructure plan should be focused on maintenance - fixing the infrastructure we already have - much more than building new infrastructure."---

--- Aaron Renn, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute


"In his State of the Union address, President Trump took credit for his administration's remarkable record in reducing federal regulations — more regulations repealed in one year than in any previous year in the history of the Republic.

The administration's success, however, does not mean that Congress need not act. The inefficient regulations this administration has repealed could be reinstated the next time the White House changes hands.

What should Congress do? For starters, it needs to insist that courts do their jobs and enforce Congress's words in federal statutes, rather than deferring to the interpretations of unelected bureaucrats. And Congress needs to require that it votes on any crimes that possibly send Americans to prison, rather than delegating criminal lawmaking authority to the executive branch."

--- James R. Copland, Director, Legal Policy, Manhattan Institute

Economic Policy

 “The Chamber agrees that the state of the union is indeed strong, as our economy picks up steam thanks to sweeping regulatory relief and the first major tax reform in 31 years. These pro-growth achievements led by the president, leaders in Congress, and the business community have laid a solid foundation for continued growth. Our priority heading into 2018 is to keep the momentum going by prioritizing policies that will ensure economic growth is strengthened, sustained, and shared all across the country.  

“We share the president’s commitment to modernizing America’s infrastructure and welcome his engagement on badly needed immigration reforms. A modern, efficient, and safe infrastructure system and a skilled, competitive workforce are necessary to keep our economy growing. The U.S. business community is ready to work with the White House and Congress to advance these priorities this year.

“However, the economic gains we’re seeing from regulatory relief and tax reform could be erased if we do not stand up for and protect free, fair, and reciprocal trade around the world. It’s clear that if the U.S. isn’t leading on trade, we’re falling behind. Trade is how we shape the reality of the global economy to benefit American workers and businesses. We will continue to make the case to the administration that free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, are in our nation’s best interests and essential to our long-term growth and competitiveness.

“The Chamber looks forward to advancing pro-growth policies in 2018, and beyond, that will continue to strengthen our economy, help businesses grow and thrive, and create opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.”

  --- U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue

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