U.S. Funding for the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs

Today, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump announced a new partnership in support of the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP). The partnership between the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) will expand the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE).

AWE was created in 2019 and launched in 26 countries around the world to support W-GDP, which aims to economically empower 50 million women in the developing world by 2025.

“W-GDP is the first ever whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment, developed intentionally to inspire collaboration on best programs and partnerships,” said Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump. “I am proud to see the State Department and U.S. Africa Development Foundation partner together to expand the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in support of W-GDP. W-GDP is focused on scaling programs that will have maximum impact for women and communities around the world.”

In 2020, to help achieve W-GDP’s goals, ECA is expanding AWE globally, doubling the number of countries to reach more women, and partnering with USADF in Africa on this important effort.

This new U.S. government interagency partnership will provide select AWE graduates in Africa with seed funding to start and scale their enterprises. Beginning this year, through 2025, USADF will provide up to $10 million in grants to the most promising African AWE graduates. In 2020, funding will be awarded to AWE graduates from the following countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

USADF believes Africa’s growth and prosperity will be driven by women. In 2019, women social entrepreneurs and women-led enterprises constituted approximately 66% of USADF’s total investees. USADF is partnering with the State Department on AWE to promote African women’s entrepreneurship and increase their access to capital, markets, technical assistance, and mentorship.

AWE supports Pillar 2 of W-GDP by providing women with the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to create sustainable businesses and enterprises. Through an inclusive learning community and mentoring opportunities, women from around the world will explore the fundamentals of business, including creating business plans and raising capital, with the goal of building a better future for their families and communities across Africa and around the world.

U.S. Economy Adds Another 224,000 New Jobs in June As Wage Increases Remain Strong

The White House issued a press release said, The United States economy continues to flourish, according to the June Employment Situation Report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Total nonfarm payroll employment in June rose by 224,000 jobs, far exceeding market expectations (162,000). With July marking the longest economic expansion on record, it is a testament to the strength of the Administration’s economic policies that the economy continues to generate monthly job gains of this magnitude.

Including revisions for the months of April and May, the average pace of job growth has been a vigorous 192,000 jobs per month over the past year. In total, the economy has added more than 6 million jobs since President Donald J. Trump was elected. The June jobs report also reflects a rebound in job growth, suggesting that May’s revised outcome (+72K) was not a trend (see figure).

The education and health services industry, which added 61,000 jobs, experienced the largest job growth in June. Manufacturing jobs increased as well, gaining 17,000 jobs last month. Since the President’s election, the manufacturing industry has added more than 500,000 jobs.

The June report indicates that robust jobs growth is coupled with consistently strong wage growth. Nominal average hourly earnings rose by 3.1 percent over the past 12 months, marking the 11th straight month that that year-over-year wage gains were at or above 3 percent. Prior to 2018, nominal average hourly wage gains had not reached 3 percent since April 2009.

There is evidence that real wages are also growing when taking inflation into account. Based on the most recent Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index data from May, inflation in the past year was 1.5 percent, and based on the most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) price data from May, inflation in the past year was 1.8 percent. (June inflation data is not yet available for either series.)

A separate household survey released by BLS shows that the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7 percent in June—a change that is not significant—making June the 16th consecutive month at or below 4 percent. The Asian-American unemployment rate dropped to 2.1 percent, its lowest rate since at least 2003 when the current series began. The African-American unemployment rate ticked down by 0.2 percentage point to 6.0 percent, just above the May 2018 series low of 5.9 percent. (Consistent measurement began in 1972.)

There was also good news on the labor force participation rate—which includes people who are working and those looking for work—edged up by 0.1 percentage point to 62.9 percent and is 0.2 percentage point above the rate when the President was elected in November 2016. The labor force participation rate for prime-age adults (ages 25-54) which largely avoids the demographic effects of the aging population increased by 0.1 percentage point to at 82.2 percent—0.8 percentage points above its rate in November 2016 when the President was elected.

A prosperous economy stimulated by pro-worker policies is pulling workers off the sidelines. Despite the continued low unemployment rates over the past year, some workers may still be on the sidelines, a situation economists refer to as “labor slack.” Because labor market slack still exists, employment can continue to rise and the economy can continue to grow as workers reenter the labor force. In the second quarter of 2019, 73.7 percent of workers entering employment came from out of the labor force rather than from unemployment.

The June employment data portray an American economy that is humming along briskly, with a continued low unemployment rate, historic trends in job growth, and rising wages.

National Small Business Week, 2019

During National Small Business Week, we honor America’s entrepreneurs who take a risk on an idea, invest in their neighborhoods, and create jobs for others.  Small business owners exemplify the American spirit by developing new ways to provide goods and services to consumers.  As a Nation, we reaffirm our commitment to the free market so that American small businesses continue to thrive.

America’s 30 million small businesses are central to our economy and our communities.  Their courageous innovation makes our cities and towns vibrant places to live, work, and raise families.  Small businesses employ almost 59 million workers, more than one-third of our country’s labor force.  These companies foster environments that reward problem solving and accountability, enabling workers to develop skills and valuable hands-on experience that propel their careers.

The success of our small businesses depends on leadership and vision from all perspectives and backgrounds.  Approximately 10 million American small businesses are women-owned; 29 percent are minority-owned; and nearly 10 percent are veteran-owned.  As our Nation continues to enjoy record low unemployment, with African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American unemployment all having achieved historic lows, we recognize that much of this success is due to small businesses creating two out of every three net new jobs in our booming economy.

My Administration is a strong ally and advocate of small businesses and their ability to help America reach its full economic potential.  Most small businesses are now able to deduct 20 percent from their taxable business income due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  This historic legislation and other pro growth policies of my Administration, including the elimination of unnecessary and burdensome regulations, have enabled small business owners to reinvest their profits into their businesses.  Additionally, we are investing in infrastructure and cybersecurity to ensure America’s entrepreneurs have the tools and technologies they need to compete in a global economy.

New initiatives are making it easier for small businesses to offer healthcare coverage options that until now have been largely unaffordable.  Moreover, once approved by the Congress, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will better serve the interests of American workers and businesses, including through strong intellectual property protections that secure innovation and trade secrets.

The USMCA is the first trade agreement in our Nation’s history to include a chapter specifically focusing on small and medium sized enterprises.  All of these efforts to create a more friendly business environment have enabled business owners to pay bonuses, increase wages, and increase benefits — putting more money in the pockets of their workers.

This week, we celebrate the pioneering spirit, creativity, and determination upon which America has always been built.  This undaunted conviction drives our entrepreneurs and small business owners, whose hard work and perseverance give our Nation economic strength.  Their initiative, combined with the greatest workforce in the world, is enabling us to convert the unlimited potential of America into great wealth and prosperity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 5 through May 11, 2019, as National Small Business Week.  I call upon all Americans to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners as they grow our Nation’s economy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.


White House: Statement of the United States Regarding China Talks

At President Donald J. Trump’s direction, officials from the United States traveled to Beijing for negotiations on the trade relationship between the United States and China. The United States delegation was led by United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer and Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin. Vice Premier Liu He led the talks for the Chinese side.

The two parties continued to make progress during candid and constructive discussions on the negotiations and important next steps.

The United States looks forward to the meetings planned with Vice Premier Liu He and the Chinese delegation in Washington next week.

The United States Signs a Stronger Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada

REBALANCING OUR TRADE RELATIONSHIP: President Donald J. Trump kept his promise to deliver a modern and rebalanced trade deal to replace NAFTA.

  • Today in Argentina, the United States is joining Canada and Mexico to sign a new trade agreement that will better serve the interests of American workers and businesses.
    • This follows the President’s announcement in October that a deal had been reached.
  • The new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) will replace the outdated, failed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • With the signing of this agreement, President Trump has delivered on his promise to renegotiate NAFTA and protect American farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers.

SECURING A STRONGER DEAL FOR AMERICAN INDUSTRIES AND WORKERS: USMCA is a stronger deal for American farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers.

  • USMCA will help incentivize billions of dollars in additional vehicle and auto parts production in the United States.
  • The agreement includes updated rules of origin that require 75 percent of auto content to be produced in North America.
  • American autoworkers will benefit from rules that incentivize the use of high-wage manufacturing labor in the auto sector.
    • This includes a requirement that 40-45% of a vehicle consist of content manufactured by North American workers making at least $16 per hour.
  • USMCA’s labor and environment chapters are fully enforceable and represent the strongest labor and environmental provisions of any trade agreement ever negotiated.
    • Mexico agreed to historic labor reforms to provide for genuine collective bargaining.
    • The agreement prohibits the importation of goods produced by forced labor.
  • The agreement includes provisions that allow agriculture products to be traded more fairly.
    • Canada will end its “Class 6” and “Class 7” programs that allow low-priced dairy products to undersell American dairy producers.
    • Canada will increase market access for United States dairy products, eggs, and poultry.

REFORMING TRADE FOR THE 21st CENTURY: USMCA modernizes our trade relationship with Canada and Mexico to reflect the realities of the 21st century. 

  • The new agreement includes a modernized chapter that provides stronger and more comprehensive intellectual property protections than any prior United States trade agreement.
    • These protections are vital to promoting innovation and economic growth.
    • USMCA includes robust copyright protection, 10 years of data protection for biologic drugs, and new protections against the theft of trade secrets.
  • USMCA includes the strongest digital trade and financial services provisions of any United States trade agreement.
    • New rules ensure that data can be transferred cross-border and that limits on where data can be stored are minimized.
  • USMCA will cut red tape at the border, streamline trade, and reduce regulatory uncertainty.
  • The agreement includes a currency chapter that will help reinforce transparency and stability.

Let’s invest in U.S. future – Transportation Secretary Chao

President Donald Trump has announced a bold, innovative plan for improving and investing in America’s infrastructure. The proposal is the culmination of a year-long effort between Cabinet agencies, including the Department of Transportation, with significant input from state, local, and private sector leaders. It is designed to change how infrastructure is built, financed and maintained in communities across the country.

A national discussion on how we build and fund our roads, bridges, tunnels, seaports, airports, rural infrastructure and transit systems is long overdue. As U.S. Secretary of Transportation, I’ve had countless conversations with governors and local officials across the country — including Florida Gov. Rick Scott — about strengthening America’s critical infrastructure. Florida is doing it the right way.

One project in particular is the I-4 Ultimate Project. I-4 Ultimate will help transform Central Florida by rebuilding 21 miles of interstate. From its inception in 1965, I-4 has been a vital east-west connector that cuts through Central Florida, serving as the main transportation corridor from Daytona Beach to Tampa.

I-4 Ultimate includes the addition of two new dynamic tolled Express Lanes in each direction, replacing more than 140 bridges, reconfiguring 15 major interchanges, and reconstructing the entire existing roadway. By utilizing a public-private partnership procurement method, the Florida Department of Transportation will deliver the project in seven years where standard funding options projected it would take 27 years to complete. When finished, the project is expected to decrease travel times by increasing options for commuters and visitors in central Florida.

The $2.3 billion construction project is benefiting from more than $1 billion in private financing from the concessionaire, I-4 Mobility Partners, including private bank loans, Federal TIFIA loans, and private investment. As such, the project also needs a workforce, including engineers, designers, skilled workers, as well as all that goes into supplying product and equipment along the way. This means jobs for Central Florida.

Unfortunately, Florida is the exception, not the norm. One out of every five miles of U.S. highway pavement is in poor condition. Americans spent an estimated 6.9 billion hours delayed in traffic in 2014, or 42 hours per driver. Almost 40 percent of America’s bridges are more than 50 years old.

Fortunately, the president is a builder and he is making infrastructure a priority.

President Trump’s proposal will stimulate at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment, which includes a minimum of $200 billion in direct federal funding. It will include not only roads and bridges, but drinking and wastewater, energy, broadband, and veterans hospitals as well.

The guiding principles are to: 1) provide federal dollars as matching funds to incentivize infrastructure investment; 2) provide for the needs of rural communities; 3) streamline and speed up project delivery; and, 4) provide for workforce training.

The key element of the proposal is to empower decision making by State and local officials, who know best the infrastructure needs of their communities, including those in rural America. The Federal government needs to stop dictating and start listening to State and local leaders, including those who encourage private sector investment in infrastructure.

Permitting reform will eliminate duplication and enhance environmental protections by delivering infrastructure improvements in a timelier fashion. The Department of Transportation is already developing a new process to handle the reviewing of complicated, multi-agency projects to reduce permitting from ten years to two.

And as a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, I could not be more pleased that this plan also has a work-force component, to help workers access the education and skills needed to build these new projects and better prepare them to remain an active part of the American work force.

Infrastructure is the foundation of our economy, and the key to job growth and keeping our country competitive. The citizens of Florida know this. Americans know this.

President Trump’s proposal will create new jobs, strengthen our economy, and improve quality of life. It will help ensure that our country has the infrastructure needed for today and the plans for tomorrow to remain a global leader. The Administration looks forward to working with both parties in Congress to get it done.

By Secretary Elaine Chao
Orlando Sentinel
February 15, 2018

Elaine L. Chao is the secretary of the Department of Transportation

Tax Cuts Act a Win for American Business and the American Worker

Photo of White House event celebrating passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Earlier this week, Congress passed the first overhaul of the U.S. tax system in more than three decades. The historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will cut taxes across the board for working families and businesses both large and small. The Act also will make American more competitive, will bolster continued job creation and will help increase wages for American workers.

“President Trump’s tax plan will make our tax code more simple and fair, and help American business stay competitive. Accomplishing these objectives will lead to increased economic growth, and, most importantly, better jobs for the American worker.” – Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

Highlights of the Tax Cuts Act for include:

Bigger paychecks for American workers. The Tax Cuts Act provides $5.5 trillion in tax cuts by nearly doubling the standard deduction, doubling the child tax credit, protecting tax savings for higher education and retirement, and lowering rates across the board. It also repeals ObamaCare’s individual mandate tax, 80 percent of which hit households earning less than $50,000 a year in 2016.

Putting American businesses on a level playing field with foreign competitors. America’s corporate tax rate will go from being the highest in the developed world to below the average for Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. A one-time tax on corporate earnings stashed overseas will end the incentive for companies to keep their profits outside of the United States.

Eliminating dozens of special interest tax breaks and loopholes. The Tax Cuts Act will raise $4 trillion in revenue to help offset tax cuts by closing the door on dozens of corporate accounting tricks. The bill eliminates a loophole used to deduct compensation for executives earning more than $1 million a year.

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.

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


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.

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.)

3:40 P.M. EDT