President Trump delivered remarks on trade and economic policy at The Economic Club of New York luncheon on Tuesday.
Trump also took aim at the Federal Reserve and the "record" amount of times they have raised interest rates. Trump hit central banks around the world that allow negative interest rates.
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: I want to thank Marie Jose Gravis for your incredible leadership of the club. It's an honor to be here. It is wonderful also to be back in New York with so many friends and distinguished leaders, business and finance, academia, and I have to add in real estate. All my real estate friends are here. I'm especially grateful for and to your longtime club members because it's a club with a tremendous reputation and somebody doing a absolutely incredible job as director of the national economic Council, a friend of mine who I got on--I've been hearing this voice for 35 years. It's driving me crazy. Larry Kudlow.
Always calm, always cool, and he's just Larry.
And he's terrific, I'll tell you that. Three years ago, I came to speak before this storied forum as a candidate for president. And at that time, America was stuck in a failed recovery and saddled with a bleak economic future, and it was bleak. Under the last administration, nearly 200,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost, almost 5 million more Americans had left the labor force, and jobs were not exactly what you would call plentiful. And 10 million people had been added to the food stamp rolls.
In 2016, the Department of Labor predicted that Americans would continue dropping out of the workforce in record numbers. They predicted and projected a decade of sluggish growth and the expected unemployment over five percent and really six, seven, and even in some cases eight percent for years to come. The so-called experts said the America had no choice but to accept stagnation, decay, and a shrinking middle class is the new normal. That was said all the time. In short, the American people were told to sit back and accept a slow, inevitable decline.
But I never believed for one moment that our magnificent nation was destined for a diminished future. I knew that our destiny was in our own hands, that we could choose to reject a future of America and really look at a future of American decline unacceptable and to build a future of American dominance, which is what I wanted. It couldn't be any other way. I would've never done this. I refused to accept that Americans had to lower their expectations or give up on their dreams. America is the single greatest country in the world, and I knew that working together we could make it even greater.
In 2016, I stood before you supremely confident in what our people could achieve if government stopped punishing American workers and started promoting American workers and American companies. Our middle class was being crushed under the weight of a punitive tax code, oppressive regulations, one-sided trade deals, and an economic policy that put America's interest last and a and at very deep last that. I knew that if we lifted these burdens from our economy and unleashed our people to pursue their ambitions and realize their limitless potential, then economic prosperity would come thundering back to our country at a record speed. That's what's happening. Today, I'm proud to stand before you as president of the United States to report that we have delivered on our promises and exceeded our expectations by a very wide margin.
We have ended--
Thank you. I was waiting for that. Thank you. I was waiting for that.
I almost didn't get it.
We have ended the war on American workers. We have stopped the assault on American industry and we have launched an economic boom the likes of which we have never seen before. I did this despite a near record number of rate increases and quantitative tightening by the federal reserve since I won the election. Eight increases in total which were in my opinion far too fast and increased and far too slow a decrease because remember we are actively competing with nations who openly cut interest rates so that now many are actually getting paid when they pay off their loan, known as negative interest. Whoever heard of such a thing? Give me some of that.
Give me some of that money. I want some of that money. Our federal reserve doesn't let us do it.
I will say--thank you. Thank you. They smart people are clapping.
Only these smart people are clapping. I don't say that's good for the world, I am not presidents of the world, I am President of our country but we are competing against these other countries nonetheless and the federal reserve does that led us play at that game. It puts us at a competitive disadvantage to other countries. Yet in the face of this reality our economic policies have assured in an unprecedented tide of prosperity surging all throughout the nation. We are paying interest, by other comparisons we are paying actually high interest. We should be paying five far the lowest interest and yet we are doing better than in the nation by far on earth.