JOINT RELEASE: Initial Results of the 100-Day Action Plan of the U.S. – China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue

President of the United States Donald Trump and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping agreed at their Mar-a-Lago meeting to advance U.S. – China economic cooperation with a 100-day action plan under the framework of the U.S. – China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue. Under the leadership of the co-chairs, Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross of the United States and Vice Premier Wang Yang of China, both nations have negotiated intensively to make progress on key issues. The three co-chairs reached consensus on initial commitments under the 100-day plan and objectives for next steps.

In approximately one month following the Presidential Summit, the two sides reached consensus on addressing issues in areas including agricultural trade, financial services, investment, and energy. For details, see the U.S.-China joint fact sheet below.

Both sides also identified other issues that will require significant effort to resolve and achieve progress on within the 100-day period. Both sides further committed to strengthen communication and coordination to jointly advance those issues and achieve resolution as soon as possible. Further, as concrete progress is made in implementing the actions under the 100-day plan, the two sides will begin discussing a one-year plan to further solidify actions in promoting U.S. – China economic engagement and cooperation. Following implementation of the 100-day plan, the United States and China look forward to deepening engagement on these and other issues at the first meeting of the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, to be held in the United States in the summer of 2017.

Initial Actions of the U.S.-China Economic Cooperation 100-Day Plan

1. Following one more round of technical consultations between the United States and China, China is to allow imports of U.S. beef on conditions consistent with international food safety and animal health standards and consistent with the 1999 Agricultural Cooperation Agreement, beginning as soon as possible but no later than July 16, 2017.

2. The United States and China are to resolve outstanding issues for the import of China origin cooked poultry to the United States as soon as possible, and after reaching consensus, the United States is to publish a proposed rule by July 16, 2017, at the latest, with the United States realizing China poultry exports as soon as possible.

3. China’s National Biosafety Committee (NBC) is to hold a meeting by the end of May 2017, to conduct science-based evaluations of all eight pending U.S. biotechnology product applications to assess the safety of the products for their intended use. No additional information unrelated to safety assessment for intended use is to be requested of the applicants. For any product that does not pass the safety evaluation at the NBC meeting held in May 2017, the NBC is to operate with transparency by providing in writing to the applicants a complete list of requested‎ information necessary to finalize the safety assessment for the products’ intended use, along with an explanation of how the requested information would be relevant to the safety of the products’ intended use. The NBC is to hold meetings as frequently and as soon as possible after an application is resubmitted in order to finalize reviews of remaining applications without undue delay. For the products that pass the safety evaluations of the NBC, China is to grant certificates within 20 working days in accordance with Administrative License Law of the People’s Republic of China.

4. The United States welcomes China, as well as any of our trading partners, to receive imports of LNG from the United States. The United States treats China no less favorably than other non-FTA trade partners with regard to LNG export authorizations. Companies from China may proceed at any time to negotiate all types of contractual arrangement with U.S. LNG exporters, including long-term contracts, subject to the commercial considerations of the parties. As of April 25, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy had authorized 19.2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas exports to non-FTA countries.

5. By July 16, 2017, China is to allow wholly foreign-owned financial services firms in China to provide credit rating services, and to begin the licensing process for credit investigation.

6. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) intends to extend by July 16, 2017 the current no-action relief to Shanghai Clearing House for six months, with further extensions amounting to up to three years, if appropriate and consistent with the conditions set forth in the no-action relief. The People’s Bank of China and the CFTC are to work towards a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning the cooperation and the exchange of information related to the oversight of cross-border clearing organizations.

7. By July 16, 2017, China is to issue any further necessary guidelines and allow wholly U.S.-owned suppliers of electronic payment services (EPS) to begin the licensing process. This should lead to full and prompt market access. China is to continue to allow Chinese banks to issue dual brand-dual currency bankcards that allow U.S. EPS suppliers to process foreign currency payment card transactions.

8. The applicable U.S. federal regulatory authorities remain committed to apply in the United States the same bank prudential supervisory and regulatory standards to Chinese banking institutions as to other foreign banking institutions, in like circumstances and in accordance with U.S. law.

9. China is to issue both bond underwriting and settlement licenses to two qualified U.S. financial institutions by July 16, 2017.

10. The United States recognizes the importance of China’s One Belt and One Road initiative and is to send delegates to attend the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing May 14-15.

The United States welcomes direct investment by Chinese entrepreneurs as it does by entrepreneurs from other countries. The United States welcomes Chinese participation in the SelectUSA Investment Summit that will be held June 18-20 in Washington D.C.

Celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week

The following is a cross-post from Tradeology, the official blog of the International Trade Administration (ITA)

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), now in its 34th year, is the annual salute to travel and tourism in America. During the first full week in May, communities across our nation unite to showcase the impact of travel to policymakers, business leaders and local media with rallies, events and other activities.

While the industry is focused on celebrating this week, the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service offices around the globe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), federal agencies responsible for the United States’ public and Native American lands (Interior, Agriculture, Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, etc.), and the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working together to put our best face forward when the world’s largest travel trade show, IPW, comes to Washington.

For the first time in its 49-year history, the U.S. Travel Association is bringing its premiere trade show, IPW, formerly known as the Discover America International Pow Wow, to the nation’s capital.

In just three days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the USA (representing all industry category components), and nearly 1,200 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries, conduct business negotiations that will generate more than $4.7 billion in future travel to the United States.

Given that travel and tourism is the United States’ largest services export and represented a $246.2 billion dollar infusion into the nation’s economy in 2015, the federal partners are pleased to have IPW in our backyard. In addition to providing the world’s U.S. travel goods and services buyers and the international media with an “up close and personal” look at all there is to see and do here in the nation’s capital, having IPW in Washington will also give U.S. Travel the opportunity to showcase the importance of the travel and tourism industry to our national elected officials.

America’s travel and tourism industry is on the rise. Representing $1.6 trillion in economic activity annually, this sector of our economy supports more than 7.9 million U.S. jobs, 1.2 million of which are directly attributable to international inbound travel – read exports. More people are employed by travel and tourism-related industries than are employed collectively in the construction industry, finance and insurance industries, agriculture, and education.

The federal partners are building new itineraries that will feature our national marine sanctuaries, wildlife refuges, lesser-known national parks, scenic byways and other federal properties. In addition, Commercial Service officers will meet with U.S. sellers, offering export assistance, and with international buyers, offering connections between them and U.S. sellers. The Department of Homeland Security will be taking appointments for enrollment in its trusted traveler programs and Native American tribal representatives and the Bureau of Indian Affairs will meet with international buyers to educate them about the tremendous product available on our Native Lands.

International travelers visit the United States to see big cities like New York, where you can ride a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, take a walk through Central Park and enjoy a Broadway show, all in one day.

People come to America to hike the California Coast, where you can find bonsai trees living in the shadows of the giant redwoods, a phenomenon that does not exist anywhere else on the planet.

People come to America to see some of the best art and culture in the world, from the globally renowned art collection at the Chicago Institute of Art to the back lots of Hollywood to the Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Ark., one of the hottest new museums in the country.

Our country’s diverse array of uniquely American experiences can stand up to any destination anywhere in the world, but we cannot take either our experiences or our visitors for granted. We must stay focused on maintaining a welcoming presence to the international buyer community and we believe a strong presence at IPW is one great way to accomplish that.

For more information on National Travel and Tourism Week, go to: https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/national-travel-and-tourism-week

USDA Awards First Loans in the Rural Energy Savings Program

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2017 – Acting Deputy Under Secretary Roger Glendenning today announced that USDA is providing zero-interest loans to two rural energy providers to help business and residential customers lower energy use and costs.

“Funding commercial, farm and residential energy efficiency investments supports rural economies,” Glendenning said. “These investments save money for consumers, create jobs in the community and help energy providers better manage costs.”

USDA is awarding a $13 million Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP) loan to South Carolina’s KW Savings Co. and a $1 million loan to the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC). These are the first loans USDA is making through RESP. They are being provided through the Electric Program of USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, the successor to the Rural Electrification Administration. The Electric Program makes loans and loan guarantees in rural areas to nonprofit and cooperative associations, public bodies and other utilities to help finance the construction of electric distribution and generation facilities.

KW Savings will use the USDA loan to provide funds to seven rural electric cooperatives for South Carolina’s “Help My House” program, which supports investments in behind-the-meter technologies and building improvements to reduce consumers’ energy bills. The seven cooperatives are: Aiken Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Santee Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Little River Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Lynches River Electric Cooperative, Inc.; and Broad River Electric Cooperative, Inc.

NOPEC, a nonprofit regional council of governments, will provide energy improvement loans to small businesses in 206 rural communities across 13 counties in northeast Ohio. USDA’s funds will support NOPEC’s Savings Through Efficiency Program (STEP), which is expected to reduce energy costs for small businesses by 15 percent.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit http://www.rd.usda.gov.



USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

H.R. 1180 – Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 (Rep. Roby, R-AL, and 17 cosponsors)

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

H.R. 1180 – Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017
(Rep. Roby, R-AL, and 17 cosponsors)

The Administration supports H.R. 1180, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017. H.R. 1180 would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow private-sector employers to give their employees the choice to receive paid time off instead of cash payments for each hour of time for which overtime compensation would otherwise be required. The bill would extend to private-sector workers a choice that public-sector employees have long enjoyed.

H.R. 1180 would help American workers balance the competing demands of family and work by giving them flexibility to earn paid time off—time they can later use for any reason, including family commitments like attending school appointments and caring for a sick child. In addition, H.R. 1180 contains critical protections to ensure employees can continue to choose overtime pay and to prohibit employers from coercing their employees to accept compensatory time instead of overtime pay.

If H.R. 1180 were presented to the President in its current form, his advisors would recommend that he sign the bill into law.

Trump Cabinet secretaries to be at Milken conference in Beverly Hills

BEVERLY HILLS – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be among four Cabinet members scheduled to participate today in the 20th annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills.

More than 3,500 people from 50 nations are set to attend the conference, which features sessions with major investors, CEOs, senior government officials, scientists, educators and philanthropists. The conference’s theme is “Building Meaningful Lives.”

Fox Business Channel anchor Maria Bartiromo’s interview of Mnuchin will be livestreamed at livestream.com/milkeninstitute/events/7287448 beginning at 7:45 a.m.

Mnuchin will then participate in a panel discussion examining the surprise outcomes of elections around the world and their influence on markets. Other panelists include Goldman Sachs President and Co-Chief Operating Officer David M. Solomon and World Bank Vice President and Treasurer Arunma Oteh.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will be part of a panel discussion titled “The Coming U.S. Infrastructure Boom,” with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe among the other panelists.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. will field questions at lunch from USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Dean Willow Bay and David Rubenstein, a co-founder and co-CEO of the global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will be part of a panel discussion on education with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Education Secretary William Bennett and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

Today’s other panels include “Not Working: Solutions to America’ Underemployment Crisis,” with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Rev. Greg Boyle, the founder and executive director of the Los Angeles-based job training program Homeboy Industries; and “Populism: Passing Fad or New Political Era?” moderated by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The conference continues through Wednesday.

Discover Global Markets is the U.S.

Discover Global Markets is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s flagship event series for U.S. exporters.Cleveland, Ohio • September 18 – 20, 2017
Cost: $325 until June 30, 2017

The conference features a dynamic mix of keynote speakers, sector-specific breakout sessions, “ask the experts” and OEM panels, one-on-one meetings with U.S. Commercial Diplomats from around the world, and plenty of time built in for networking.

In just two days, attendees of Discover Global Markets will uncover new exporting opportunities, learn from seasoned exporters, and connect with hundreds of networking contacts. The conference will highlight these major U.S. manufacturing sectors:
Advanced Manufacturing
Aerospace
Automotive

Some of the confirmed speakers to date:
Airbus
America Makes
Autodesk
Center for Automotive Research
Deloitte Consulting
Local Motors
Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association
Ohio Aerospace Institute
NASA
Pratt & Whitney
Revio
Rockwell Automation
Roll-Rite
Timken Aerospace
U.S. Department of Commerce

One-on-One Meetings with U.S. Commercial Diplomats

Whether for new export opportunities, help in overcoming challenges, or general questions, pre-schedule meetings with U.S. commercial diplomats from key markets, including:

*Country list is subject to change

Belgium
Canada
Croatia
Denmark
European Union
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Italy
Netherlands
Norway
Mexico
Poland

Remarks by the Vice President to Small Business Week Awards Program

Institute of Peace
Washington, D.C.
May 01, 2017

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, good afternoon. And thank you so — how about a round of applause for Linda McMahon, the Administrator of the Small Business — stand up and take a bow, will you please? (Applause.) She’s amazing. (Applause.)

And more on our other honored guests in just a moment. But it’s just such a joy to be able to welcome you all here to Washington, D.C. And I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.) He grew up in a small family business; so did I. And I have to tell you, mine was a little smaller than his. (Laughter.) But it is a particular joy, I know, on his behalf, for us to welcome you here to join in the celebration of National Small Business Week to honor the millions of small businesses that are the beating heart of the American economy. (Applause.) I hope you all enjoyed the discussion that just wrapped up. I’m proud to be one of your cleanup speakers today. (Laughter.) But I know the conversation that took place, hearing from Linda McMahon and hearing from the remarkable business success story and leader that is Ivanka Trump was a great joy for all of you. Would you give her a warm welcome as well? (Applause.) You can give her a standing ovation too, I just didn’t go on — Ivanka Trump, everybody, is a business leader and a champion for small business. (Applause.)

Ivanka, your leadership is inspiring businesses all across this country, and especially women in business. She’s been a voice across the country and now all over the world — a voice for empowering women business leaders. And I see some great women business leaders in small business gathered here today, so give yourselves a round of applause. (Applause.) Thank you again, Ivanka, for your great leadership. (Applause.)

It is great to be here at the start of National Small Business Week. Since 1963, the President of the United States has honored America’s small businesses by instituting this week and recognizing the tremendous contributions that small businesses make to our country each and every day.

Just this weekend, President Trump signed a declaration asserting these words: “Small-business owners embody the American pioneering spirit, and remind us that determination can turn aspiration into achievement every day.” (Applause.)
And I lived it. I just — I greeted some people along with the President in the Kennedy Garden just a few minutes ago, and I talked about growing up in a small business myself.

I grew up in a small town in southern Indiana, and my dad ran a little gas station business. And when I was only 14 years of age, I went to work as a gas station attendant. (Laughter.) And for those of you under the age of 30, we’ll explain to you later what a gas station attendant was. (Laughter.) But I had my first name on my shirt, and when the car pulled onto the drive I ran to the car, okay, ran to the car, checked the oil, checked the tires, washed the windshield, didn’t even charge you anymore money for it. (Laughter and applause.)

But I grew up in a family business. And, as the world knows, President Trump grew up in a family business too. It was one of the things — as our families started to get to know one another, didn’t we, Ivanka, we all realized that while we were small-town Indiana and they were big-city New York City, the bond that we shared was a family that worked in business together.

I remember one of my very first conversations with Ivanka and her brothers, was I heard them say that when they were growing up, the way they spent time with their dad on the weekends was on a job site, on a work site. And I’ll never forget Eric saying to me over dinner when we were just having some of our first conversations, he says, and we went — when we went with dad, we worked. (Laughter.) This is a President who knows what makes a small family business work, and he’s going to fight for you every single day. (Applause.)

We know that sacrifices are necessary, and we know, both of us do — and I would say especially the President — here’s the way he puts it: When small business is strong, America is strong. And that’s why we’re going to fight for your prosperity and opportunity every day of this administration.

The truth is that small businesses are the foundation of our communities and pillars of the American economy. A stunning 99.7 percent of all businesses in America are small businesses. And no fewer than 57 million Americans work for small businesses. Nearly half of all private sector jobs in the United States of America are at small businesses.

Folks, that’s amazing. And on behalf of the President of the United States, let me personally thank every small business who has gathered here today for the opportunities that you create every day for the American people. (Applause.) And every single one of you are a profile in courage. Every single one of you took a risk when you set up shop, and now you’ve made a difference, not just in your family’s life but in the lives of your employees, the life of your community, and the life of our country.

You know, it’s the small businesses that are really the lifeblood of small communities and large communities all over the country. I mean, you can’t hardly go to a softball game without seeing the banner of a local business hanging on the fence at the back of the field. Every philanthropic effort, every worthy cause in communities finds an ally in the small businesses that are so well represented here at this forum today.
And let me also say — I want to give congratulations to the National Small Business Person of the Year — the two persons of the year, Garrett and Melanie Marrero of the Maui Brewing Company in Hawaii. (Applause.) Appreciate it. You just did that Hawaii thing. I just learned to — (laughter) — I did, I just learned that. I was visiting troops on the way back from the Asia Pacific and they taught me that little Hawaii thing. There you go. Listen, we want to congratulate — he was very insistent when we met backstage that he and his wife have built this small business together, and you have our congratulations.
Congratulations also to all the runners-up. Deborah Dudley, of Oscarware in Kentucky. (Applause.) Rozanna Garman, from RHD Enterprises in California. (Applause.) And Corliss Udoema, from Contract Solutions, just across the river in Virginia. (Applause.)

And I’d like to recognize all of you who won Best Small Person Business of the Year in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the territories, and, if you’ll permit me, let me just say to Dave Thompson, who’s here representing Joey Rivera from Rivera Consulting in the state of Indiana, congratulations to all our state winners. We are proud of you all. (Applause.)
You know, the truth is, we’re celebrating today not just because each and every one of you deserves the recognition and the encouragement for all the long hours, but the truth is, our economy, from coast to coast, depends on each one of you every single day. Your strength is America’s strength and the success of our country depends on your success. And I’m here today to promise you that President Donald Trump is going to work every day to make your businesses stronger, to make them more successful than ever because President Donald Trump is the best friend America’s small business will ever have in the White House. I promise you that.

President Trump knows what we said before, that small businesses are the engines of the American economy, and as President Trump has promised, we’re going to restart the engine of the American economy to create jobs and prosperity and growth like never before. And as the President loves to say, it’s going to happen a lot faster than you could possibly imagine. In fact, it’s already happening. It’s a promise he’s made to you and the American people, and, as we like to say, we’re in the promise-keeping business in this White House.

It’s really been inspiring to see President Trump’s unwavering commitment to small businesses in his first 100 days in office. On day one, President Trump went right to work, fighting for each and every one of you. He picked a world-class Cabinet filled with business leaders who know what it takes to succeed in a competitive marketplace. People like Linda McMahon; our new Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta — who I just had the privilege of swearing in this past Friday — are all people that really understand, along with our Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, and other, what it takes to make the American economy hum.

President Trump has also signed more bills cutting job-killing regulations than any President in American history already. (Applause.)

Here’s one of my favorites — one of my favorites is, early on the President instructed every agency in Washington, D.C. to find two regulations to get rid of before issuing any new regulation on businesses large and small in the United States of America. He authorized the Keystone and Dakota pipelines to protect America’s energy future, and the President is cutting back mandates and rules that are raising your energy costs and making it harder for businesses to get ahead and to grow.
No matter where you look, President Trump has taken decisive action to get government out of the way so you can do more, create more, innovate more, and grow more jobs. And American small businesses know it. All across this countries, small businesses haven’t been this optimistic in a decade. And they have good reason to be. With the efforts of those of you in this room and the businesses you represented, it’s remarkable to say that, in 2017 alone so far, the American economy, driven by American small business has created 500,000 new jobs for the American people. It’s an incredible start. (Applause.)

And folks, he’s just getting started. This last week, President Trump laid out a plan keeping another promise to the American people that he made. This President is going to go to the Congress in the days ahead, and we’re going to pass the largest tax cut in American history. We’re going to cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses, and family farms. (Applause.)

We’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare. (Applause.) And we’re going to give the American people the kind of world-class healthcare they deserve. You know it really is a remarkable debate, and it’s still going on even as we speak. I’m headed to Capitol Hill right after I leave you, and we’re continuing to talk with members of Congress.
It was about a month ago Congress wasn’t quite ready to take that first step to repeal and replace this disastrous policy, but the President remains confident that with your strong support — and maybe you could talk to a member of Congress before you leave town — (laughter) — that we’ll get a fresh start on healthcare in America.

The truth is, every single promise of Obamacare has been broken. Remember all of them? They said, if you like your doctor, you can keep him. It wasn’t true. They said, if you like your insurance, you could keep it. It wasn’t true. They told you the cost of health insurance and premiums would go down. Actually, we’ve seen premiums skyrocket across the country.

Well, I want to promise you, working with the leadership of the House and the Senate, President Trump is going to make sure that these majorities and this nation’s capital keeps our promise to the American people. We’re going to repeal Obamacare, and we’re going to give the American people the ability to purchase health insurance that they want, not that the government mandates and dictates. I promise you that. (Applause.)

Beyond all that, we’re going to keep slashing through red tape, we’re going to rein in unelected bureaucrats so they can’t cripple the economy from the comfort of their taxpayer-funded metal desks.
We’re going to roll back the Dodd-Frank legislation so that small businesses like yours will have access to lending and financing so you can grow your business with your independent and community bankers in your hometown. (Applause.)

And if you haven’t noticed it yet, the American people elected a builder to be President of the United States, and we’re going to pass an infrastructure bill so that America once again has the best roads, the best bridges, the best highways and airports, and the best future we could possibly imagine. We’re going to rebuild America, and it’s going to support economic growth. (Applause.)

Under President Trump’s leadership, we’re going to do all this and more, with your support, so that every small business, and anyone who dreams someday of starting a small business, has the best shot at success.

This week, with President Trump, we’ll celebrate all that small businesses have achieved and all that you do for America each and every day.

But today, we also recommit ourselves. We recommit ourselves to the President’s agenda of strengthening small businesses so that you can accomplish even more in the months and years ahead.

And let me just say, before I close, how much I admire everyone in this room. You know, I’ll never forget when I started my own little business in the basement of my house, it was the scariest time of my life, and the most exciting. I had an idea, so I hung some fluorescent lights down in the basement, I put in a phone line and a fax machine. All the kids were real small, Ivanka. They were all under the age of five. And I told Karen, I’m going downstairs to work the phones and work on the business, and she kept track of all the kids running around upstairs. I could hear them all day long. (Laughter.)

But it was an exciting time, and I remember every single morning. What it drew out of me was the faith and the perseverance and the determination. You know, when you work for yourself, when you’re building something for yourself, you’ve got to find more in yourself. And each and every one of you have done that, and you’ve become the kind of people that have really just made your communities a more special place to live and to work and to raise a family.

And so I just, lastly, on behalf of our President, just want to thank you for all those long and lonely hours, for all the energy and effort that you’ve put into building your small business. Because ultimately, it hasn’t been for you. It’s been for the people that you love, it’s been for the people that you employ, and it’s a benefit to your communities, to your state and your nation. And I just am here to tell you that your President knows that. He’s lived that. And his Vice President knows it and has lived it as well.

So we thank you for all your sacrifices. We honor you today for the recognition that you have received, winners all in this room. And we wish you every blessing for much continued success.

And let me close by saying I have faith. I have faith that under President Donald Trump, America’s small businesses are going to continue to lead the way, to drive our economy and foster a brighter future for yourselves, your communities, and our countries, just as you always have. And I say with confidence, with President Donald Trump in the White House, the best days for American small business and the best days for America are yet to come.

Thank you very much. God bless you. It’s wonderful to be with you all. And congratulations on your honors today. (Applause.)

END
3:40 P.M. EDT