President Donald Trump made big promises on Tuesday, pledging to quickly deliver on health care, tax reform and infrastructure, while offering tough talk on trade, including putting Canada on notice.
Despite the administration’s failed effort to usher legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare through the Republican-controlled House last month, Trump suggested health care reform was imminent, casting it as the first major hurdle to cross before accelerating through his legislative agenda.
“We’re also working with Congress on tax reform and simplification, and we’re on time, if we get that health care approval, so press every one of your congressmen. Press everybody because we wanna get that approval,” Trump said Tuesday afternoon in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he toured tool manufacturer Snap-on before delivering remarks.
Passing health care reform first, Trump said, simply makes tax reform easier — an effort Democrats and transparency advocates have argued is impossible without the president first disclosing his taxes to the American people to see how he could benefit from legislation he has the authority to sign into law.
“We’re in very good shape on tax reform,” Trump said, adding that the concept of the plan is there and would be announced “very soon.” “But health care, we have to get the health care taken care of. And as soon as health care takes care off, we are gonna march very quickly. You’re gonna watch. We’re gonna surprise you. Right, Steve Mnuchin? Right? Secretary of Treasury.”
The president didn’t end his bold promises there, adding infrastructure reform to the mix. Trump has proposed an investment in American infrastructure that could exceed a $1 trillion price tag. Trump said his administration will repair the nation’s “badly depleted infrastructure … soon.”
“Infrastructure. Big infrastructure bill,” he said. “Probably use it with something else that’s a little bit harder to get approved in order to get that approved. But infrastructure is coming, and it’s coming fast.”
Trump toured Snap-on to tout a “Buy American, Hire American” executive order designed to make good on his campaign pledge to put America — and Americans — first. In a museum-like display room featuring a table of Snap-on products sold as souvenirs, Snap-on CEO Nick Pinchuk told the president that some customers wanted a box large enough to carry ashes following a cremation, according to a White House pool report.
“That’s depressing,” Trump replied.
He signed the executive order after speaking at the plant. And while his remarks at times centered on how the administration will prioritize American workers and U.S. products, the president’s speech included big pledges and tough talk on trade.
Promising to stand up for Wisconsin’s dairy farmers, Trump singled out Canada for doing “some very unfair things” that he didn’t detail but said he read about.
“What’s happened to you is very, very unfair. It’s another typical one-sided deal against the United States, and it’s not gonna be happening for long,” Trump said, promising to call Canada and “get the solution, not just the answer” to what happened.
He continued ripping NAFTA, as he did on the campaign trail, calling the North American trade pact “a complete and total disaster.”
“NAFTA’s been very, very bad for our country,” Trump added. “It’s been very, very bad for our companies and for our workers, and we’re gonna make some very big changes or we are going to get rid of NAFTA for once and for all. Cannot continue like this. Believe me.”