President Trump Hosts a Meeting with State and Local Officials About His Infrastructure Initiative
It's a great honor to have everybody, with us and, we. Have some very exciting things to be talking about things you've been waiting for for a long time, for many many years and. Now let's, see how badly you want it because. If you want it badly you're gonna get it and if you don't want it that's okay with me too but. We have to rebuild our infrastructure, you know I said this morning as, of. A couple of months ago we, have spent, seven. Trillion. Dollars. In the, Middle East seven, trillion dollars, what a mistake and. What. It is what it is this, is what I took over and. We're. Trying to build roads. And bridges and fix bridges that are falling down and. We have a hard time getting the money it's crazy, but. Think of that as of a couple of months ago seven, trillion, dollars, in the Middle East and the Middle East is far worse now than it was 17, years ago when they went in and. Not so intelligently. I have to say when in I'm, being nice so it's. A very sad thing the. Budget, was. Recently, passed and, the. Reason, it was passed is. Because. Of our military our. Military. Was totally depleted and. We. Will have a military, like we've never had before we're gonna have an. Incredible military, and to me, that. Means a couple of things number one it does, mean jobs but really number one it means safety and security because. Without the military and, we. May have very strong, views on spending which I have but. Without the military it's. Possible, there's no reason for us to be meeting maybe. We wouldn't be here so we're gonna have the strongest military we've ever had by far we're. Increasing. Arsenal's, of virtually, every weapon we're modernizing, and creating. Brand-new a brand-new nuclear. Force and frankly we have to do it because others, are doing it if they stop we'll stop but. They are not stopping so if they're not going to stop we're gonna be so far ahead of everybody else and nuclear like. You've never seen before and I, hope they stop and if, they do we'll stop in two minutes and frankly, I'd like to get rid of a lot of them and if. They want to do that we'll we'll. Go along with them we will lead the way we'll go along with them but. We will have a nuclear. Force. That will be absolutely. Modernized. And brand new and. Hopefully. We'll never have to use it and. Hopefully, we can reduce it in the years ahead, and that. Depends really on what other people are going to be doing but we will always be number one in that category certainly, as long as I'm president we're going to be far far. In excess of anybody else I'm. Honored to be here with the governor's. With. County executives, and mayor's from around the country. Secretary. Chao secretary, Zinke secretary. Ross. Administrator. Pruitt thank you for joining us I greatly appreciate, it we're. Here today to discuss the critical need to rebuild America's, crumbling. Infrastructure. And. One, understands. And the, people in this room really understand, better than most probably. Hopefully better than anybody, that the, problem, the. States have and local leaders have with. Funding the infrastructure, is horrendous. And. We. Will build, we will maintain and, the. Vast majority of, America's want to see us take care of our infrastructure. Trucking. Companies are complaining, that they used to take trucks from, Los. Angeles to New York and there. Was no damage now they bring from Los Angeles to New York and this tremendous damage, to their trucks, because. Our roads are in bad shape and, we're going to get the roads in great shape and very. Important, we're going to make our infrastructure. Modernized. And, we're, really way behind schedule we're, way behind other countries, we always led the way for many many years then. A, number. Of decades ago it slowed down and over the last eight years and, 15. Years to be honest it's, come. To a halt this. Morning I submitted legislative. Principles, to Congress, that will spur the biggest, and boldest. Infrastructure. Investment, in American, history, the. Framework will generate, an unprecedented. 1.5. To 1.7. Trillion, dollar investment. In American. Infrastructure. We're going to have a lot of public-private.
And. That way it gets done, I'm on budget, it. Will speed the permit approval, process, from ten years to two years and maybe even to one year because. When we give you as governors and mayors and people. Representing, your great state so we give you money and you can't. Get your approvals, I guess, we're gonna have to take that money back or you're not going to build and some. Of you are sitting around the table that I know some of the governor's you're gonna get those permits I have no doubt others I see a couple sitting around the table I don't think they're going to get that permit so fast. But. You're gonna have to get it otherwise you're not going to be able to build because, we can't give you money and you're gonna take 15 years to get a permit in one state took. 17, years for a basic roadway to get a permit and the. Cost was many many many times what it was supposed to be and we. Can't have that so we want you to get going and you'll work on the permitting process and from a federal standpoint environmentally. And everything. We have to do I see Scott, is here we're, going to get you permits very quickly it. Provides, 50 billion dollars for rural, infrastructure. Who, have really been left out the. Rural folks, have been left out including. Broadband. Internet. Access which, they don't have and they want it and the, farmers, want it it. Will create, thousands. And thousands, of jobs and increased training for, our great American workers, and. It returns power to the state and local governments. Who know best what, their people need. Washington. Will no longer be a roadblock to progress. Washington. Will now be your partner, will, be your partner a lot, of money up, to 1.7, trillion, that's bigger than people thought and we're. Gonna have a lot of great, people working we're going to also have great companies. Investing. And building and they'll build for you because sometimes the states aren't able to do it like, we. Can do it or. Like other people can do it or like I used to do it when. I did. The Wollman Rink it was seven years they, couldn't get it built it would have been forever they couldn't get it built and I. Did it in a few months at, a much smaller price, they had invested, 12. Million, dollars in, building an ice-skating rink, in the middle of Central Park took somebody, told, me about this the other day if they've met forgot that was. A big deal at the time it remains a big deal, took. Many many years and they were unable to open it, and. I said you know I'd like to be able to have my daughter Ivanka who is with us I'd like to be able to have her go ice skating sometime. Before she doesn't want to ice skate and. I. Got, involved and I did it in a few months and we did it for a tiny fraction tiny. Fraction, of the cost and, it's. Really no different with a roadway it's, no different with a bridge. Or tunnel or any of the things that we'll be fixing, the. Returns, of. Of. Money and and investment. To, the states and local government, will be incredible, and. Nobody. Knows better than you, people where, you want the money invested, that's the other thing for the federal government to say geez is this what we want you to do in Wisconsin Scott. You. Know exactly where you want to do it and you've done a great job by the way but, you know exactly where that money is going and. How. Is your new company that's opening up they're doing by the way are they doing ok that. Was a big one Foxconn, it's moving along right, they. Make the Apple iPhone and, I said. For a long time I said I want those companies to be making their product here and they, went to Wisconsin Scott did a fantastic job, of presentation. I actually, saw a site that I loved I said that was an old Auto site and I. Was with the head of Foxconn, great man actually, a great business man incredible. And. I said that's a great site for you right new Wisconsin. And I hear, that's where they're going so you've. Done a fantastic job, but. This is a common-sense, and, bipartisan, plan that every member of Congress, should support, I look. Forward to working with them and we're. Gonna get the, American, people roads that are fixed and bridges that are fixed and if for any reason they don't want to support it hey that's, going to be up to them what. Was very important, to me was the military what, was very important, to me was the tax cuts and what. Was very important to me was regulation. This. Is of great. Importance, but it's not nearly in that category, because. The states will have to do it themselves if, we don't do it but.
I Would like to help the states out and we're doing that with a very big investment one. Of other things I think so important, to mention is that in, the budget we. Took care of the military like it's never been taken care of before in fact general, mattis called me he goes wow I can't, believe I got everything we wanted I said, that's right but we want no excuses we, want we. Want you to buy twice ok, twice what you thought for half the price, so. Maybe we're going to get involved a little bit in the buying we want to get twice as many planes for half the price and believe. Me we can we, can do a lot because the procurement, process is, very. Outdated to put it nicely but. We're gonna have something very special but one, of the things that was, very important to me with respect to the budget was Daka, I did. Not want dr. in the budget I wanted, doc separate. So that we could talk about it and make a deal and I. Hope to be able to make a deal I hope the Democrats, are not going to use it just as, a campaign you know they've been talking about daca for many years and they. Haven't produced we. Started talking about daca and I think we'll produce but if the Democrats want to make a deal it's really up to them because. We want really. Tremendous, border security, but. We have to have, Democrats. Support, for, daca and they. Are starting that process today we, didn't want to have it in, the big budget because if we have it in the big budget it's going to get mixed up with all of the other things so now we have our military taken care of and now, we start very serious. Daca talks today and, we. Are I can, tell you speaking for the Republican, Party we would love to do daca we would love to get it done we want border security, and the, other elements, that you know about chain migration you know about the, Visa Lottery you know about but. We. Think there's a good chance of getting doc had done if the Democrats, are serious and they actually want to do it but. They didn't want tax cuts they fought we didn't get one vote for massive tax cuts that have turned out to be, unbelievably. Popular and, what. Came up which was even a surprise to us were the big company stepped up and millions. And millions of people have gotten tremendous bonuses. Nobody knew that was going to happen that was a that, was just the beginning point so we, didn't get one Democrat, vote not one for, the biggest tank and I think that's a big political, problem for them you know if you're one another truth they, are going, around saying they made a mistake because. The tax cuts have now you. See what's going on it spurred, the. Economy, unemployment, is that virtually record, lows black, unemployment, is at the lowest level in history Hispanic. Unemployment. Is at the, lowest level in recorded, history which, is really something that's so great and we. Are very very, it's amazing what's been what's, been going on with the economy and, I. Just want to end, by saying it's, an honor to have all of you with us we're gonna have a few of you make statements, and then we'll all stay around if you, want we can leave the press or we can have the press leave immediately I'll leave that up to Scott Walker because. You're, gonna be the first speaker so, Scott you want to say a few words sure and. Thank you very much everybody thank, you well first off mr. president I think on behalf of all of us all the state and local leaders both, Republican, and Democrat alike thank you to you and your administration for for, hosting us all today before you. Came in we were having a good lively discussion, about answering, some of the questions many, of us had you. Alluded to a moment ago, Foxconn, which you were great to help us announce, here. As, I mentioned to many of the folks assembled here today for. The first time ever LCD, panels, the kind of panels here in, the future will be even bigger when. By sharp will be made in the in the United States and, we're proud that they would be made in the state of Wisconsin, about a 10, billion dollar investment we're, helping with about three billion dollars worth of incentives, and when. We think about infrastructure, it ties into that as it does all over the state of Wisconsin, in. The last few years in our through this recent, budget we've made about a twenty four million. A billion dollar investment in our state in the transportation, infrastructure, that's. About three billion dollars more than the previous eight years and, so, we understand, what you're trying to do here but one of those projects, that will help there is it's, about a one and a half almost 1.6. Billion dollar transportation. Project. Interstate 94 from the state line through, Kenosha Racine counties, all the way up to our largest County Milwaukee County we've.
Completed A good chunk of it I think 13. Of the 19 interchanges. Have been completed about half of the miles have been done but, there's one major portion, right by where they're going to build this new ten billion dollar ecosystem. That, we're still working on the state most recently in our budget put about a quarter of a million dollars on top of all the money that's been spent up until now and, we think through the help of the federal government with the infrastructure, for America funding. That we can finish off the rest and they get this the good part is the. Local roads that we're helping with, an additional money on behalf of beyond behind that's being done in about eight months time and we believe on the time schedule on the, remainder of that can be done in less than two years with. The ideal completion. Aging before the fall of 2020. I did, I'm sure you're interested, in that would be completed by that time and we're, thrilled and we think it's a good example of a, good partnership between the federal the state and local governments, and I just would add when, you were coming in my friend from Iowa was, just talking about rural. Infrastructure, and real interest and I also want to say because, we've got a good portion of our state there's rural as well not, only thank you on a roll initiative. For transportation, but particularly for broadband, we'd, love to have whether it's white spaces fiber, networks, you name it there's, plenty of opportunities, for us to grow and expand, our internet capacities. All throughout the United States well. It's been very unfair, what's happened, with broadband, in terms of the Middle West and in terms really of rural areas as, you know and you sort of were a victim of it too but now it's going to be taken care of we're spending a great deal of money on that it's only fair and they, want it they, want it they know how to use it they want it and we're. Going to get it how many jobs will be created because, of Fox guns new plant about. 35,000. In total 13,000. Direct another 22,000. Indirect or induced and if I go that's bigger than just, the direct jobs alone 13,000. Talking about rural is bigger, than 96%. Of all the municipalities, in the state it was a fantastic, thing it's everybody, wanted Fox gun frankly. They weren't going to come to this country I hate. To say it if I didn't get elected they wouldn't be in this country they, would not have done this in this country I think you know that very well just. Out of curiosity. 25,000. 35,000. Jobs it's a tremendous, one of the biggest economic development, jobs in the country how how, will you go about training and getting, all of those people to work there well if the first phase is even, before those jobs is up to ten thousand, construction jobs, so it fits in with exactly what you're talking about too we'll, have people all throughout our state and probably adjoining, states we made a major investment and I think part of one of the visits Ivanka you had made it's in one of our technical colleges we have all of our technical colleges in the state are stepping, up their programs specifically, to train because this is not only for construction but then for high-tech advanced. Manufacturing this. Is going to be a whole new wave for us so we, hope to have people, not only in state being trained we're trying to recruit people from other states as well and the company will also train I understand, you. People thanks, good congratulations. You really did they told me the other day that you were really really. Great the state Wisconsin. I'm not surprised but they did a great job and you did a great job thank you very much thank you mr. president that. As you know Apple, I told. Tim Cook during, the campaign, before, I was elected I said Tim you know I don't. Know if I gonna make it or not but if I do you got to build plants you got to build some, big plants I won't consider this, a great success unless they see those, big plants, that I see, all over China and other, places but in particular China, hopefully. You're gonna build them here and he. Gave us a very big surprise two weeks ago three, hundred and fifty billion, dollars, not million three hundred three, hundred and fifty million would have been a nice plan too but. He's going to invest three hundred and fifty billion dollars, of which he's taking, two, hundred and forty five billion dollars, back and that's the money we talked about coming back into this country I think, it's going to be about four trillion dollars, it.
Was Two-and-a-half trillion but I've been using that number for years so I know the numbers got larger, it's probably, four it could even be more than that but a lot, of it is coming, back another company just announced they're bringing billions of dollars back into the country but, Apple. Is bringing about two hundred and forty billion dollars back, in they're. Going to build a tremendous, campus, they're going to build new. Plants and. It. Is beyond anything that, anybody. Thought even possible, so that's very exciting and you add that on to Foxconn. It's. A whole different world. Out there so Scott thank you very much governor, Martinez I would, like to have. You talk about some, of the great strides that you've made in New Mexico, and, what, we're doing and some of the things that are. Happening. Cuz that's a very exciting, steak what's going on thank you. First I'd like to start by thanking you for all that you've done and including, our, States through. Our mayors and governors and, commissioners, to be a part of the conversation, it, was certainly something that did not exist in the previous administration and, because, of that, we're. At the table and able to give our different ideas and how they impact our states so. I'm very very grateful that for that for. You and your willingness. To allow us to participate, I. Also know that the tax, reform that, has taken place is bringing millions of dollars more into our state and with, that comes the economic, growth and our. Economic growth for example we have just brought Facebook, to New Mexico, keep, in mind New Mexico is a 2.1, million, population, and to, bring Facebook and the investment, that they've brought with a thousand, construction, jobs. And. Of course have been preparing. For those additional jobs with. Our community. Colleges and our, two-year. Institutions, and vocational, school so, that making sure that the, workforce, was prepared to take on that number also. As. You know New Mexico is a very. Big. Piece of our national security as well. As we. Have natural resources energy resources. In New Mexico and so, our infrastructure is super important because we, have what, used to be two-lane highways, for. The amount of what. We were developing in our energy sector as well as our military bases and our, national, labs now, are requiring four, lanes and possibly. Turning lanes because, there's so much traffic because the energy, in, the southeast, northwestern, part of our state is is so big and booming that. We. Have private vehicles going and merging. Into those traffic, and unfortunately, right now can. Be very dangerous and also. Our national, we. Have the waste, infrastructure. Program, down in the southeastern, part of the state bringing. Transionic, waste from the northern part of the state to, the southeastern, part of the state and again, those very large trucks that, are traveling on very narrow roads along, with the public and so, again. Thank you for including us so that we can be a big part of that our funding, is certainly been, private. Public, and. National. Infrastructure. Dollars coming together we've been insisting, on that for the last seven years because. We don't want a single source of funding taking, care of our needs and so, we're constantly asking. When there is a project we put together is what. Is the city putting in county putting in private-sector putting, in federal, putting in state putting it so that together we can begin a project and complete, it, great. Job you've done thank, you. Thank. You very much Susanna one, of the things we're doing a little bit separate from this meeting but it all sort of amounts, to the same thing as a reciprocal tax, we. Are going to charge countries. Outside of our country countries. That take, advantage of the United States some of them are so-called allies but they're not allies on trade. They'll, send in their product and we won't charge them anything and, we, send them our product, same product as they're sending us and they'll, charge us fifty and seventy five percent tax and, that's, very unfair one of the examples, got is Harley Davidson, they're very they're treated very unfairly in, various countries you know the countries I'm talking about so. We're going to be doing very much a reciprocal, tax and you'll, be hearing about that during the weekend during the coming months but not. Fair when, we're taking advantage of that's why we have these big trade deficits, that's why we have tremendous. Problems, with trade whereas, you know renegotiating. NAFTA now, I always said we're either going to renegotiate, it or terminate, it we're renegotiated. Bobwhite Heiser is doing, a fantastic job, on that and.
Hopefully. The renegotiation will. Be successful, and if it's not we'll be more successful, but. NAFTA. Has been we'll. Lose a tremendous. Amount of money at least seventy one billion dollars a year with Mexico, we lose a lot of money with Canada, Canada. Does not treat. Us right in terms of the farming, and the crossing. The borders so, they'll either treatise writer we'll just have. To do business a little bit different really differently we cannot continue, to be taken advantage of, by, other countries we cannot continue to let people come into our country, and rob. Us blind and. Charge. Us tremendous, tariffs, and taxes, and we. Charged them nothing we cannot allow that to happen, we cannot allow it to happen and we. Lose vast. Amounts, of money with China, and Japan and, South Korea and so many other countries and. They understand, where I'm coming from I've talked to all of them and they understand, it it's, a little tough for them because they've gotten away with murder for 25, years but. We're gonna be changing policy, and you, know we have an incredible, country but we can't let that happen. And it's really affecting, our workers it's affecting everything so that's. Going to be a very big part of what's happening over the next month. Everything's. Related to this meeting but I wanted, to mention that specifically. I'd like to have a County, Commission above, Oh of miami-dade. Say a few words and. A lot of progress being made there also you. Would, appreciate knowing miami-dade, the way you do the, gridlock, that we are experiencing. Gridlock. It could be one of the biggest detractors, to economic. Investment. Miami-dade. County has embarked. In its, Miami Smart, Plan that's, hashtag. Miami, support plans for those that follow we're. Trying to be very aggressive we've not only decided to put skin in the game we levy a halfpenny, we've, also created TIF, legislation. That allows us to create transit. Oriented development, address. The workforce housing issues, it addresses. Resiliency. Issues our. Biggest concern there's, a president quite honestly is that the environmental, regulatory. Process. Really delays, our, ability. To deliver projects, and I'll tell you what, I consider a a horror story many. Of the corridors, that we are examining now that we'd like to develop transit. Expand our transit, system have, been studied since 1970. That's right mr. president I was in elementary. School, at the time that this was being talked about in my County, we. Have grave, concern and I represent an area full. Of laborers, and I, wonder at times what. Does the gridlock do to them that construction. Man, that plumber. That carpenter. Who loses, jobs. Because, he can't get to all five appointments he only gets to three and those, other two go to somebody else well we're going to get you we, gonna get you the federal permits okay and we're gonna get you the environmental, and the transportation. Permit so we'll get them for you so fast your, head will spin the, question is are you going to be able to get the local permits because that's going to be up to you there's. A president, our. Board of County Commission, our mayor our our. Governor, in the state of Florida and every elected official has, now bought into the fact that we cannot allow, projects. To be delayed four, or five years I, said, this earlier when we were meeting here as a group privately, it seems to me that the pyramids, in Egypt were, built faster. Than some of the projects that we're contemplating, and now you wait 25 years in some we have projects, on the books at 25, years look, at the pipelines how long they would have been I approved, I'm in the first week and, they're. Now being built I guess you have one situation. That's gonna be solved very soon but they're very you know forty-eight thousand jobs the. Two big pipelines they were dead they were gonna be dead for years they were probably never going to happen and. Environmentally. It's better to. Have it under ground is better than using. Trains and using trucks all over the place so it's we. Could do it but they have people waiting for 25. Years for permits and by. The way 25. Years and a hundred times the original cost if. You think about it so we're gonna get you the federal permits we're gonna get you the environmental, permits that you need on a federal basis it's, very important that the local, communities, like miami-dade, and all and I know miami-dade, very well and it's. Great these, are great people but you're right it's very tied, up you'll.
Be Able to produce some locally and if you can't then the money goes to somebody else because. If you can't get your permit you have a certain area. I know phil bryant is gonna get all of his permits, i have no doubt about that right you. Will, have no problem, i know that but, if. You can't get your permits, and you can't get them quickly the money is gonna go to somebody else because we're not going to sit around for eight years because, you're. Having a local dispute, so, I think that's good I think that's a good incentive. I. Think. You're gonna I know you you're gonna get it done yet okay good thank you very much Phil. Do you have anything to say mr.. City. Next to my favorite mayor George Flags in Vicksburg, Mississippi, so, I better talk about his intermodal, port, because. About 30 miles away Continental. Tires building, one of if not the most advanced, plant in the United States it was the plant of the year in the, southeast, we want to go shovel, I could tell you more about that. 2500. Employees were. Going to be there so ports are critically, important, 155. Miles away from Jackson, our port of Gulfport was totally, destroyed by Katrina. In August, 2005. 28, foot surge completely. Destroyed, the port we. Are rebuilding it now we've got three hundred million dollars hood has been kind enough to allow us to put three hundred million dollars into it it is a remarkable. Vibrant, plant now but we port, but we've got to we've. Got to have that highway 49, which. Is unfortunately. A farm Road it, is a narrow dangerous, road with, 69. Eyes a 59, red lights between. Jackson, and most. Dynamic port, I believe in in the Gulf and so we're going to widen that make, it a great big beautiful highway, so that people can get their goods and services, to the port of the future we've got a three point four, billion, dollar. Prydz, energy, project, planned in the future for that port we're, going to put a broad brand ban, Crescent. Around, the port for new technologies. For Keesler, Air Force, Base for. Manufacturing. Of 70% of the Navy's warships, right. How are you doing with the permitting, how is that going we've, had not one problem, after Katrina, we, were able to compress. That permit. Time, and. Thanks to the EPA now now, we had to live of eight years of a pretty difficult time, you know under the other administration. You would have been twenty years on our project. But. Now you'll be about two months it's. Past year with a great help of your team it's. Been remarkable, what's happening, we've not fully recovered, from Katrina, then the spill came along but. This new plant is. Going to be really, the catalysts that will change states, like Mississippi. Move us to that new level we're the mother of all rule states so, as we talk about rural investment, it. Is, something that warms, our heart so I want to thank you mr. pres going, to be III, know the dynamic, effort that you're going to put in it in your team and all of us working together is gonna be generational.
I Hope a hundred years from now they're thinking about the, day that we were in this room and what happened to stay well, fell I just left Mississippi. And I was with Phil. Recently, at the African, American, Museum and, I want to tell you the job you've done is incredible, and I hear it's doing record business it's doing fantastically, well we were there for the ribbon-cutting, and, the opening but. The job you're doing in Mississippi. Is and very inspiring to a lot of people so congratulations. George. Would you like to say a few words. Thank. You mr. president I'm just glad that you allowed, guys. Different, Mississippi be in a room with 20 representing, 20,000, people. And then we talked about a company, going to. Its. State, with. 35,000. People but Mr the, governor's already spoke to our. Our. Situation, as a prior, to our port but the other thing is that we. Need some reliefs on our infrastructure. As relates our water treatment plants our. Water plant. The. Court. Decree are draining. Us, so. Small town, municipalities. And I think I speak for most. This. Money could. Couldn't. Come in a better time to help us develop. Through. Economic, development and. Creating. A job just the thing I like about it creating, jobs and hopefully. In the next four or five months we can get on in probably below 4% and, thank you thank you very much George I appreciate. It you're, doing a good job, Elaine, what would you like to say transportation. It's, a lot of this money is going to transportation, so, you become the big power that you always are. Mr.. President your cabinet members have been working very diligently over. The last year we. Have, EPA. Administrator. Pruitt, here we have secretary. Zenki, we have secretary. Ross and. We have a plan that. Will fix, the, crumbling infrastructure, and we look forward to getting to work I thank, you Elena and Scott Pruett could you talk about the environment and how we maintain. A perfect, clean better than ever environment, at the same time go quickly. Is. The mayor just said from Vicksburg, you, said Washington, will now be a partner and, I think he hit on an area that's very important that's water infrastructure, when you think about safe drinking water in this country small. Towns counties. Across this country need investment, with, respect to their water treatment facilities and this is a major part of the package I want, to echo what governor Bryant said earlier we. Are looking at permitting, at the EPA by the end of 2018, that we will process every permit up or down within six months and that. Combined with the changes we're making with, this legislation, to, have an outside time period of two years is radically.
Going To transform, how we see investment, through this package so your leadership has been extraordinary, mr. president the cabinet's worked very well putting this package together. Well. Thank you very much and I know that when. We're finished with this meeting. Probably. You won't see it for some reason you'll see all about Dhaka they'll be talking about my remarks on Dhaka which lasted, for about 10. Seconds, but we're very serious about Dhaka but you'll be hearing about Dhaka but this, is so important, for what we're doing Gary, Cohn what, would you like to say Gary. Mr.. President is we, talked before you got here this has been a big, team effort for the last year. Your. Cabinet, and the White House has been working I'm putting together a plan we've. Worked with many of the mayor's commissioners. Governors, in the room many of the legislators, we, think we have a very robust, plan they can get everything you want they over trillion half dollar investment, shorten, the approval, process the less than two years we're, very excited to have you launch it here today and we're excited to get to work on it as secretary, Chao said, good. In Ralph Northern, congratulations. On your victory your. Opponent was not a Trump person I have to be honest with you if, he was he would have done much better doesn't, mean you wouldn't know one but he would have done much better but he was not a Trump person but, I would like to congratulate you and what, would you like to say about infrastructure, pres. Thank you and being, this meeting and obviously, infrastructure. Is so important, I'd like to start by thanking you for what you're doing with our military as you know we build the finest warships, and submarines, right there in Newport News and we, have the largest naval base right there in Norfolk, and infrastructure. Is so important, to us I think you mentioned rural. Virginia, or rural America, obviously, broadband. Is very, very important, to us and mr. president what I would like all. Of your help with our port, of Virginia we. We are in a position to be the best port and. We want to make sure that we have the deck could be one of the best in the world if they invested, not. That much money relatively, speaking I agree with Lee and we're we're in the process where we need to dredger or a channels, to 55, feet widen, our channels so that's been in the process for many years probably right how many years Ralph has don't know mr., president but we're ready to get it done I love it just put it on the list put it high on the list and it's all about exporting, and keep this purana going so thank you mr. Prevert, II much guelph and good luck with everything I think you're gonna do a great, job very important, is what you said about the port because. I've been hearing about your port for many many years I've also heard it could be one of the great ports of the world and, locationally. You can't do better but, they could never get their dredging, permit so Scott I know you'll work on that and, hopefully. You'll get them quickly all right all. Right thank, you Wilbur Ross please. We're. Looking forward to playing, a big role in, the transformative. Projects. That's, what's been allocated, mostly, to commerce to.
Chair The committee picking, the end a big, transformative. Projects, so we hope all of you will have good, deal of, imagination. And, determination. At the transformative. Level, okay, thank you Oberon do you agree with what I said about the the. Tax with countries, coming in and taking advantage of our country I assume, if, we don't well, would he'd be in trouble can you imagine if he said. A. Reciprocal. Tax well how do you feel about that well, we gave away so much. Unilaterally. That we really have to claw it back a lot, of these trade, things are, self-inflicted. Wounds, it, wasn't, that other countries, made us we, volunteered. Concessions. That were mindless. They, might have been good public policy right. After World War two when, we had to rebuild Europe. And rebuild, Asia but. That's a long time ago and the concessions. That were, appropriate. Then are, a singularly. Inappropriate. Now. So. When I look at some of these trade deals I say how could this have happened and, the, truth is it was laziness. After. World War Two we helped Germany and we helped all countries, we helped and you had the Korean War we helped South Korea we helped everybody and. Nobody. Changed, they had no money they had no anything they were rebuilding from a war and the, agreements, basically, stayed the way they were and, they. Became very wealthy and they. Could pay a tremendous amount, and they could pay his back, but. Nothing happened and the reason nothing, happened is number one no imagination, number, two the, people that were in my office and other offices, were lazy they just let it go but. We're not going to be letting it go because it's truly. Affected. Our country when we have 21 trillion. Dollars in debt, we. We're not going to let that go and when people want to send their cars into our country but they won't accept our cars. And. So many other products, cars are the least of it although cars is a big category we. Can't do that we can't do that we will no longer do it I will tell you that I. Would. Like to ask. Bill to say a few words because you have been very very I would. Never use the word progressive but, you have been very good in what you've done and. When I do use the word progressive, I use it in a much different sense, you understand, well thank you no I think I'll let go what you've heard from the other governors and the mayor's would say it's too as well as there's, a whole different attitude today, when we talk with your department, so it's instead of here's what's best it's how, can we help and what, do you think we should do and I can't tell you how much all of us appreciate that, it's a whole different thank you Ben we very much appreciate second. Thing and I think what what, I think you'd hear from everybody in here is there's, a lot of different perspective, about what the private sector should do and what government should do but transportation. Infrastructure. Is without, question that's the fundamental responsibility of government nobody can build their own interstate, system I don't care who they are nobody, can build their own network.
That. This nation. Relies on so, we're, very encouraged, last year in Tennessee we combined, the largest tax cut in history with, actually increasing revenue toward, transportation because. Our, infrastructure, was so outed out. Of date everything. From getting our, agriculture. Product to market to making, certain we've made a big difference in Tennessee our cities, happen so we're, with you and we, we want to encourage. This. Too. To. Actually be fulfilled, as quickly as you can because we're. Quickly, getting behind the rest of the world right that's, right thank you very much bill actually, to. Me this is a very very, sexy. Subject, the media doesn't find it sexy I find. It sexy because I was always a builder I always knew how to build on time on budget and, that's what we want here one of the reasons we like the public-private, is, we'll get some of that involved, in getting these things done quickly much. More rapidly. Than you would get them done as a government, as good, as some of these governments, are so. I, very much appreciate that, bill but Tennessee, is really keeping up they're doing a good job I looked at some numbers, yesterday and it's. Really really doing a good job would, anybody like to say something yes sir go ahead, Thank. You mr. president Steve Benjamin the mayor of Columbia South Carolina first one to thank you for having us here thank, you so thank you for having you here I look forward to learning more about the plan of DJ. And Billy. And everyone the entire team have been very helpful. In communicating with us over the last several months we. Met in December 2016. Right after your election and writing that meeting you reassured. Us that you would support the tax exemption, on mini bonds and you've done that and I, want to say thank you for that it's the way in which we build the vast majority of infrastructure. Across America, almost, 80% have it done by state and local and that's helped out a lot has been absolutely, absolutely, and also thank you for your support of private activity bonds and and and how that's reflected in, your, budget I want to thank you for your support of the military fort, and someone, may disagree but this is the finest, army training base in the world, victory.
Starts In Columbia South Carolina we, trained a preponderance of the men and over half of the women in Columbia, South Carolina in. America's, cities in Columbia, is not a typical, we. We have the same tax rate that we had ten years ago five, the last seven years we finish with a budget surplus, we but we created, an environment where a private sector capital is welcomed you treated well it, grows and, and we've, increased our Police Department budget by sixty percent and I, will tell you that what we need and and it will spend some time raising. The flag on some of our priority, projects. You. May remember in October 2015 we had a massive flood thousand, year event in Columbia, South Carolina they, do the--can damage, to our canal, that. Still as we work through FEMA and FERC we, have to get repaired. So we move soon some time raising, that to the top of the of the of the priority pile. As we as we're working, with this but I want, to tell you again America's mayors that happen to be around the table we look forward to talking about the expedited. Nature. Of the, plan and working, closely to make sure we're protecting the environment as, we do that but have, to be here look forward to continued, dialogue I'd, be remiss if, I didn't talk about the fact that public pensions are very interested, in getting into the infrastructure, of business as well and if. There's some possibility, lever up that extra two hundred billion dollars be, interested in supporting that as well but good thank you for having us Thank You Mara appreciated, the areas, that have military are going to be greatly. Affected in, a very positive way because the, number, that we were able to get 700 billion and again, that was the key to what I did I hated, to give away certain. Money and some of it I consider, to be. Terrible. But, we needed 60 votes we. Needed 60 votes so, in order to get the military taken, care of which is to me number one by, far, we. Did that but those areas, that are, heavy, and the military you're going to see a tremendous difference, when. I was in the private sector, I used to get listings, all the time for forts military, forts military, installations, that be for sale and, I used to say to myself this is ten years ago and five years ago how, can we be selling so much well. Now I'll bet they wish they didn't sell some of them you know they would sell them as surplus and. I used to say how many do, we have because, you get a lot of listings but, they closed a lot but we're going to be expanding, ones, that we have and those. Areas the towns and cities and states they're really going to be a tremendous. Impact, and you know one of the other things as jobs we're going to be building this. Equipment, we don't go out to other countries to build our military, equipment, and when. We have allies especially, people, that we help where we give aid to which we're gonna have to start looking at also but. They. Go out and order military. Equipment, from other countries, I say you know you're not if. You're not gonna order it from us you're not getting any aid and that's. Why a lot of the defense companies and jobs again it's all jobs but. They're very happy because I mean we were giving out money and they're by, helicopters. From different countries I don't want to say which country, specifically. One I say. So we're giving you money to. Buy military equipment and you're buying military, equipment, in another, country, how does that work and I. Remember the president of a country laughed, when I said it he said finally somebody, gets it and, they. Were actually. Restricted. From buying from us so, we could give them money but they were restricted, for human rights issues and other issues so. A. Lot, of things are changing and they're changing very fast yes, sir mr., president I'm Rob lockrey chairman, of the County Commissioners in Bucks County Pennsylvania I know you know where Bucks County is for, everyone. Right. Off, the big Super Bowl win and we've won the Super Bowl with, the Philly special, right so Nick Foles and Doug Peterson and I have a Philly special, for you when, it comes to transportation. Projects. And I I know everyone's aware of i-95, and. In. That interstate highway has been the connection, of the Turnpike in 995 and after literally. 40 years of planning, and approvals, and permitting, they're finally, making the connection, and there's a picture on these, slides up here but, the problem is they're making a connection only.
On Two, of the eight ramps, so if you're going north on 95, you can go I know where those connections, are yeah so you want additional, connections, and all the permitting, is done all the. That sounds good, I saw. You jump to the head of the line we. Have it's how much half, of about 515, million all. Right get the price down a little bit get. It down. Sounds. Like a lot of money for connections, right so, can i think phil you could do it for 550. The. Last thing i want to say about the permitting, I think is so improvable it's so important, you, know in in Bucks County we've 115. Bridges small country, bridges right and, we, closed one seven. Years ago which is not far from my house and it used to be the way I was, my quick shortcut, to my daughter's soccer field practices, so, my oldest daughter's, finished. Middle, school finished. High school she's graduating, this year and going to United States Naval Academy, but, she's finished both of those things and we haven't even started work, on the bridge they were you gonna build a new bridge or renovate, that we're gonna replace the bridge but because of the historical, process and, the reviews and the consulting, processes and going through section is it permitted it's, not we can't get well then you're not gonna get a bridge but I'm saying the permitting, process that, you're talking about truncating. That yeah well you look at it yeah we're gonna do it I'm look, you've been doing this for years as you say and it's, been a pretty unpleasant, process. But we're gonna do it quickly now the historical, if it's local historical, you're. Gonna have to take care of that yourself you know, I'd. Love to get it done for you that's the kind of thing we want to get done we, have a lot of bridges amazingly, number. A high number of bridges that are considered. Unsafe, and yet. They're being used and I don't want to see tragedies, I don't want to see it happen they. Need paint they need some. Fixing not even a lot of money they have to be fixed or they're going to they're going to go down and, those. Are the things safety, first but. You want to resurface your roads I like, fixing rather than building new I've seen so many roads where. They. Rip out a road a highway. I can, tell you 78, in New Jersey they ripped it out and, went. On for years just, rip the hell out of it and then, they started building a new road in exactly the same location because, they wanted the surface to be a little bit higher they could have stripped the asphalt. And put, beautiful new asphalt and then. After they built it it started to settle all over the place whereas before it, was there for a hundred years it didn't you know it's settled so. You didn't have the problem, and I. Would rather see resurfacing. I would rather see till we get ourselves right, before we start doing the big new projects, I would, like to fix what, we have, through. Resurfacing. And other things like the bridges fix, them a lot. Less expensive and, in, the end it's probably better and then, we start the new projects, maybe with another fund but we start the new pray and maybe with this one but. I really would like to see propper resurfacing. New, medians, I. Really. Like to see a competitor, to the one that makes the grates that are always you, know the guardrails, I talk about him all the time whoever represents that, company I think he's the greatest salesman, on earth because. They put this stuff in and within two weeks it's all bent and corroded, and it's, terrible, I want. The salesman, that, represents. That company, to represent, the, United States of America, because, that guy does some job I wish they could come up with an alternative, to the it, looks like aluminum or, a probably.
Cheap Steel but. When. It gets hot it bends. When, it gets cold its bends and when somebody hits it it's a mess and we. Put it in and within a year it looks terrible and I never understood why they didn't come up with a better system so. Those are the kind of things that I'd like you to look at and, you can come up with a better system probably for less money but. Somebody should come up with a better, system than that so, thank you very much work on the bridge thank, you Gary what would you like to say. Just. Press the button we, just talking. Again I was I was starting. To make my comments so I want to thank you very much mr.. President for recognizing. The importance of rural America and, and. Broadband. In particular, that's so critical for people working from home in our small communities, and making sure they have access, additionally. The workforce is so important, we have 2.7. Percent unemployment. In the state of Iowa, great story, and, we. Need everybody to have the best skills they could possibly have so, up. Training our workforce is going to be a big piece of it but one of the things I heard the port's mentioned, and I would like to add that the locks and dams are really important modernization. Of locks and dams right sippy are really critical, to the Midwest. And moving our, agricultural. Products, around we have that planned actually, as you know and and we, really appreciate that so that's critical and, we. Do have one of those interchanges. That we're ready to upgrade, we've got about 200, deaths that have been, suffered on the i-80, 380. Interchange, around, between. Iowa's 200, deaths 200, deaths you, do have a lot of that you know you'll have a lot of intersections. Where people. Die, because. They can't get a permit and it's. Just crazy and I'd like you to make that first priority, you have like you say the there's, one particular, and I heard about it in Iowa, it's.
A Particularly. Dangerous intersection. And there's accidents all the time and with a slight difference in design and you. Could get that permit very easily we have to get it done so I'd love that to be a priority, if that's fun we appreciate, it flood mitigation is, a big deal in Iowa to Cedar Rapids, I. Had. A terrible flood they've got a wonderful project they've. Had. A lot of private dollars ready. To be invested, and being invested, and, so our new mayor of Cedar Rapids is here with us today good that's, priority, for him Thank You mr. president thank you thank, you very much mr. president on behalf of everyone here obviously, you've taken an enormous interest in infrastructure you've been on, us since day one to make sure we delivered a great plan I think we've got a great plan I think, everyone around the table can see how much interest you have you've. Delivered your plan to Congress this morning they're going to be digesting, it it, will not come as anything new to them your, team has been working with both, the Senate in the house your for, the last month or two so they know exactly what's coming so, we're off to a great start here thank you very much for all your time and effort this morning here I think thank, you very much appreciate, it. I. I. Would like to add one further thing I think it's very important, that you go back and you speak to your Congressman, your Senators and the people that represent you to get. The, push that you're gonna need to get this done because. They are working on a lot of things right now in all fairness to them so this. Is one you're gonna have to get a little push. And I think everybody in this room wants us very much and I want it very much but you're, gonna have to call your senator, and your Congressman and woman to get. It done and it's. Something that can happen will, get approve old will create a lot of jobs and we'll have a great infrastructure, in our country once again thank, you all very much I appreciate it.