During a visit to the headquarters of tools and manufacturing services company Snap-on (SNA) in Kenosha, Wis. Tuesday, President Donald Trump sought to alleviate fears associated with his administration’s timeline for tax reform.
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“Our tax reform and tax plan are coming along very well. It's going to be out very soon,” he said during a speech at the Snap-on factory.
The president urged members in the audience to pressure their congressional leaders on health care, insisting that accomplishing that legislative feat first would pave the way for a more expansive and “steeper” tax bill.
“We’re on time [for tax reform] if we get that health care approval,” Trump said. “It makes the tax reform easier, and it makes it better … We’re in very good shape on tax reform, we have the concept, we’re going to be announcing it very soon.”
Trump also gave vocational education a push, praising Snap-on for its commitment to technical training, saying “Vocational schools are going to be a big factor in the Trump administration."
Snap-on provides a “Tools for Life” technical education program that includes “hands on training with Snap-on products.” The company has partnerships with technical schools around the country to offer its vocational training and certification to American workers.
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Directly after his speech, the president signed a new executive order aimed at protecting American workers through the administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” push.
“We are sending a powerful signal to the world, we are going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first,” he said.
The executive order signed Tuesday seeks to transform the immigration system—particularly the H-1B visa program—from operating as what the administration perceives as a “lottery” system to a merit-based system. The White House believes this will stop the influx of unskilled, foreign workers who work for low wages and undercut the domestic workforce. It also calls for a comprehensive review of procurement among government agencies including waivers and exemptions. The government has promised to hold all agencies not complying with the Buy American policies accountable.
“The policy of our government is to progressively promote and use American made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job,” Trump explained.
The government will also allow agencies to take the impact of foreign trade abuses, like dumping, into account while assessing their ability to execute the administration’s goals. President Trump took aim specifically at NAFTA Tuesday, promising to make the United States’ trade relationship with both Mexico and Canada more favorable.
“NAFTA has been a complete and total disaster … the whole thing is ridiculous … we’re going to make some very big changes or we’re going to get rid of NAFTA once and for all,” he said.
Tuesday marks Trump’s first visit to Wisconsin since taking office, and his choice of the Kenosha-based manufacturer is significant. President Trump is the first Republican to win the liberal-leaning Kenosha County since President Richard Nixon in 1972.