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Remarks by President Obam after meeting wtih US business leaders January 28 2009 - History


REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE ECONOMY
AFTER MEETING WITH BUSINESS LEADERS
White House East Room
January 28, 2009

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. I want to thank Sam and David for their outstanding words. I want to thank all of you for being here today.
A few moments ago, I met with some of the leading business executives in the country. And it was a sober meeting, because these companies and the workers they employ are going through times more trying than any that we've seen in a long, long while. Just the other day, seven of our largest corporations announced they were making major job cuts. Some of the business leaders in this room have had to do the same. And yet, even as we discussed the seriousness of this challenge, we left our meeting confident that we can turn our economy around.
But each of us, as Dave indicated, are going to have to do our share. Part of what led our economy to this perilous moment was a sense of irresponsibility that prevailed in Wall Street and in Washington. And that's why I called for a new era of responsibility in my inaugural address last week, an era where each of us chips in so that we can climb our way out of this crisis -- executives and factory floor workers, educators and engineers, health care professionals and elected officials.
As we discussed in our meeting a few minutes ago, corporate America will have to accept its own responsibilities to its workers and the American public. But these executives also understand that without wise leadership in Washington, even the best-run businesses can't do as well as they might. They understand that what makes an idea sound is not whether it's Democrat or Republican, but whether it makes good economic sense for their workers and companies. And they understand that when it comes to rebuilding our economy, we don't have a moment to spare.
The businesses that are shedding jobs to stay afloat -- they can't afford inaction or delay. The workers who are returning home to tell their husbands and wives and children that they no longer have a job, and all those who live in fear that their job will be next on the cutting blocks -- they need help now. They are looking to Washington for action, bold and swift. And that is why I hope to sign an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan into law in the next few weeks.
And most of the money that we're investing as part of this plan will get out the door immediately and go directly to job creation, generating or saving 3 to 4 million new jobs. And the vast majority of these jobs will be created in the private sector, because, as these CEOs well know, business, not government, is the engine of growth in this country.
But even as this plan puts Americans back to work it will also make the critical investments in alternative energy, in safer roads, better health care and modern schools that will lay the foundation for long-term growth and prosperity. And it will invest in broadband and emerging technologies, like the ones imagined and introduced to the world by people like Sam and so many of the CEOs here today, because that's how America will retain and regain its competitive edge in the 21st century.
I know that there are some who are skeptical of the size and scale of this recovery plan. And I understand that skepticism, given some of the things that have happened in this town in the past. That's why this recovery plan will include unprecedented measures that will allow the American people to hold my administration accountable. Instead of just throwing money at our problems, we'll try something new in Washington -- we will invest in what works. Instead of politicians doling out money behind a veil of secrecy, decisions about where we invest will be made public on the Internet, and will be informed by independent experts whenever possible.
We will launch a sweeping effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government, and every American will be able to see how and where we spend taxpayer dollars by going to a new website called recovery.gov -- because I firmly believe what Justice Louis Brandeis once said, that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and I know that restoring transparency is not only the surest way to achieve results, but also to earn back the trust in government without which we cannot deliver the changes the American people sent us here to make.
In the end, the answer to our economic troubles rests less in my hands, or in the hands of our legislators, than it does with America's workers and the businesses that employ them. They are the ones whose efforts and ideas will determine our economic destiny, just as they always have. For in the end, it's businesses -- large and small -- that generate the jobs, provide the salaries, and serve as the foundation on which the American people's lives and dreams depend. All we can do, those of us here in Washington, is help create a favorable climate in which workers can prosper, businesses can thrive, and our economy can grow. And that is exactly what the recovery plan I've proposed is intended to do. And that's exactly what I intend to achieve soon.
Thank you very much for being here.


Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with African American Leaders

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I want to thank you very much. We’re here with some of the black leaders of our country and — people that are highly respected and people that have done a fantastic job and, for the most part, have been working on this whole situation with me right from the beginning. And we’ve done a lot. We’ve done Opportunity Zones. We’ve done criminal justice reform. We’ve done things that people didn’t even think possible. Criminal justice reform — we’ve let a lot of great people out of jail. (Applause.)

And, you know, Alice Johnson is, really, just such a great example. A fine woman. And she doesn’t say she didn’t do it she made a mistake. But she was in there for 22 years when we let her out, and she had practically another 20 left. And that’s not appropriate.

MS. KING: Her children grew up, her grandbabies.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I know. So incredible. And you couldn’t produce — there’s nobody is Hollywood that could have produced that last scene of her. That was the real deal — of her when she saw her kids. So it’s really a fantastic thing.

So what I think I do is I’d like to — for the media, I’d like to go around the room, and we can do just a quick introduction of each other.

And I’ll start with me. My name is Donald John Trump. (Laughter.) And I’m President of the United States. (Applause.)

PARTICIPANTS: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: We have a lot of great things in store and a lot of interesting times. And you’ve been seeing the polls. The polls have been incredible. We’ve had some polls with — and I could say “black,” I could say “African American,” or I could say both. But I’ll tell you what: The polls are at a level that people have never — I don’t think they’ve seen, in terms of Republican.

And I won’t be satisfied until I get 100 percent, because nobody has done more for black people than I have. Nobody has done more. (Applause.)

And so, I appreciate it. We’ve been in this together and what we’ve accomplished for black people — for the country, but for black people — has been unprecedented, I believe.

MR. WILLIAMS: Well, I am comedian Terrence K. Williams, and I am sitting next to the greatest President since Abraham Lincoln! (Applause.) Yes.

MS. STANTON-KING: Angela Stanton-King, founder of American King Foundation, recently pardoned by the greatest President ever. (Applause.)

PASTOR SCOTT: Pastor Darrell Scott, Cleveland, Ohio. New Spirit Revival Center. Black Voices for Trump. Urban Revitalization Coalition. I’m a Johnny-come-lately here, but I believe in what this guy is doing. (Applause.) I’m onboard the Trump Train now.

MR. BERTO: I’m Andre Berto, two-time world champion. I’m here with my man, Jack Brewer, to support Trump and we’re here to make great things happen. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. He’s a great fighter. I didn’t see you down there. (Laughter.)

MR. LITTLE: Mr. President, it’s an honor. You truly are the best President since Abraham Lincoln.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.)

MR. LITTLE: My name is Marc Little. I’m the chairman of the Board of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education run by Star Parker, and it’s an honor to be with each and every one of you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.)

MR. TURNER: Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. President. My name is Scott Turner, and I serve as the executive director for the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Inaudible.) (Applause.)

MR. SMITH: All right, good afternoon, everybody. My name is Rob Smith. I’m America’s favorite black gay Republican. (Laughter.) I had my second coming out a couple years ago in support of this administration and all the amazing things that are happening. So, Mr. President, I would like to thank you for having me at this table.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. (Applause.)

MS. ROLLINS: I’m Brooke Rollins. I have the amazing honor and blessing of serving this President now for two years and focusing on forgotten communities and communities that have never had a shot at the American Dream until this man was elected President of the United States.

So it continues to be my greatest honor. Thank you. And these are amazing friends here. (Applause.) So what a great day.

MS. BORELLI: Deneen Borelli. I’m with Black Voices for Trump and Women for Trump. And I just want to say: I’ve taken a lot of arrows for you, but I am proud to do it because I appreciate everything you have done for the country. (Applause.)

MR. KUSHNER: My name is Jared Kushner. I know all of you here — (laughter) — and I just want to thank you all for coming. I tell my — I tell the President all the time how proud I am of the job he’s doing, but I want to tell all of you that I’m very proud of you. You’ve been great partners of this White House. You’ve come with ideas you’ve come with suggestions. And every time I bring these ideas to the President, he always says, “If these are the things that need to get done, let’s do it. Let’s spare no resource. Let’s get it done.”

And what we’ve done together is we’ve found pathways to really revitalize a lot of communities, but also revitalize a lot of people and create a lot of opportunity for people who didn’t feel it before. So I just want to thank all of you for your leadership in your communities and for helping us work to accomplish what we have under this President’s leadership. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Jared. Right behind you, I see, through all of these cameras, we have one of our great stars. Will you please stand up? (Applause.)

MS. PIERSON: Katrina Pierson, Senior Advisor to the President’s Reelection Campaign, here in support of all of the great work that President Trump is doing. One of the reasons — and I don’t even know if I’ve ever shared this with the President — that I supported Donald J. Trump, the candidate, from the very beginning was because I knew that he would fight for forgotten communities, and I knew that if we elected Donald Trump as President, we could deliver a generation of black children from poverty. (Applause.)

MS. WASHINGTON: I’m Stacy Washington, and I’m the host of “Stacy on the Right.” And I’ve been supporting you from the moment you were the nominee.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.

MS. WASHINGTON: And after that, I have been amazed by the absolute way you have — you’ve banished all of your naysayers when it comes to the pro-life issue, the religious freedom issues, the things that are nearest and dearest to my heart. I’m wearing my baby feet and then also my defense pin because you are the first President since I’ve been an adult — I’m a veteran — who’s ever said we need to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. And we’re doing it. We’re doing it.

MS. WASHINGTON: And I believe in what you’re doing, and I thank you for it. We pray for you and we are just ready for you to have four more years. So, thank you for letting me come into the People’s House and sit with you today. (Applause.)

MS. KING: I’m evangelist Alveda King, executive director of Civil Rights for the Unborn and founder of Alveda King Ministries. People ask me all the time, “What do you do for the President?” I pray for the President. (Laughter.)

Now, the other thing is, “What has he done for you lately?” And we don’t have time, but: promises made, promises kept saving little babies in the womb bringing steel mills back bringing jobs back to America helping with the economy reuniting our families. And the list goes on and on. Promises made, promises kept.

And I’m old enough to say — I’m 69 years old. But having seen this — saying “I’ll do it,” mostly with a smile, and getting it done. So, I’m very grateful. And getting that girl out of jail. Jesus. Not a jail pardon — Angela King. Pardoning Angela. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: (Inaudible) your reference — your reference was so important for Angela, and you told me what a wonderful person she is. And she was there for a long time and was going to be there for a long time. Do you want to mention that?

MS. KING: She’s pardoned. And the first thing she did — because she cried — I don’t remember Jared remembers. I called one day. I said, “They chain women to the bed when they’re having babies in jail.” “Oh!” So that stopped. And then Angela called one day, crying: “(Inaudible), the immigrants, the immigrants — but they separate us from our children here in America.” I say, “Jared! Jared!” (Laughter.)

MS. KING: So, the day you called and said she was getting out, I said, “Sir, after I get up off the floor, I’ll talk to you.” So I’m just grateful. I’ll be quiet. But thank you. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. No, I’m very happy you told us about it. Thank you very much. Thank you.

MR. BREWER: I’m Jack Brewer, former NFL player. Currently, I’m a professor at Fordham Gabelli School of Business. I have worked my entire life for underserved black communities, teaching my brothers and sisters from the NFL, now at Fordham, in the inner cities, doing community work.

And I got to say, Mr. President, I ran the NFL Players for Obama, and I’ve been a Democrat all my life — (inaudible). And you changed me. You changed me. You touched me. And you made my work go to another level. You inspire me.

And every time I go into those prisons and I ask my guys, you know, “How many of you have had your sentence reduced?” — and they raise their hand, I know I’m doing God’s work. So I thank you for that. (Applause.)

MR. HARRIS: Mr. President, you had me at “hello.” (Laughter.) When you started debating and you were talking about — you were talking about unborn babies, and I saw you championing those babies, while, on the other side, which is just like today, the Democrats, they don’t want to give any chance to unborn babies at all, I made a video it went viral. I wound up writing a book about what I believed I saw that was taking place in our country called, “Why I Couldn’t Stay Silent.” And I just continue to be impressed and honored at how much you have stood up to your word, how much you’ve done for all Americans, and how that’s risen the black community as well, how you champion the lives of unborn babies.

And it is a privilege and an honor. David J. Harris, Jr., by the way I think I forgot to say that. But it’s a privilege to be in airports and wear my hat — (applause) — and show everybody. And I travel all over the country. I speak. I travel all over the country. I love showing folks that black Trump supporters do exist.

And even more than that, it gives me an opportunity — I did just last night in Nashville — the opportunity to speak to black folks and Hispanics, but especially blacks that look at my hat and say, “Why do you support this President?” And when I rattle off all the things that you’ve done and why I support you, they say, “Wow, I didn’t know that,” because they’re listening to mainstream media.

So that’s why I’m also a news source at DavidHarrisJr.com to give the people the real news and not the twisted, liberal, left-driven news that is the mainstream media of today.

It’s an honor to support you 100 percent. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, David. That’s really nice. I actually saw you walking through the airport. (Laughter.) You know, I — it was all over the place you know, that is a very famous clip. That was great. But I appreciate it, David. Thank you very much.

Here’s a guy doing a great job.

MR. SMITH: Mr. President, it’s been an honor to serve with you from the beginning of the administration. You’ve made African Americans a priority. You gave me an opportunity to kind of work and do things that I didn’t even know I could do. But we have results and we’re creating opportunity now: historic investments into HBCUs, historic criminal justice reform, historic numbers for black unemployment rate, as well historic investment in some of our most distressed communities.

We have all the tools to create a renaissance in this country, and it’s under your leadership. And all I got to say is: The best is yet to come. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: You knew you could do it. (Laughter.) I didn’t know — you knew you could do it. You had no doubt. Great job.

MR. LANIER: Kareem “the American Dream” Lanier. (Laughter.) Urban Revitalization Coalition. I work with Dr. Darrell Scott.

Mr. President, from day one — from day one, you’ve kept your word to our community. You’ve done your job with your policies, with the criminal justice reform, with Opportunity Zones, with HBCUs. Now it’s our job to get the word out about what you’ve done for our community.

We have a simple job. You’ve done the hard work for us, and now we just have to get out and push the message because the mainstream media will not tell the people the great things you’ve done for our community. And we thank you. (Applause.)

MR. GRADENIGO: My name is Derrick Gradenigo, from Houston, Texas — oil and gas exec, who’s been doubling as an influencer because I’m so motivated by this President. Thank you for having me here.

MR. GRADENIGO: Yes. Seems we’re having a competition: one person said “2016” Kareem says “day one.” As a kid, I knew. (Laughter.) Let me tell you why.

I grew up in a different California, in the ‘80s: a Reagan-esque California. Grew up in Sacramento. Somewhat affluent means, in a predominantly white neighborhood. And I remember times when there were affluent people, white people, who would say, “Donald Trump, you know, he shouldn’t be hanging out with Mike Tyson. Shouldn’t be hanging out with Don King. Shouldn’t be on a plane with Michael Jackson.”

So, the lies that I heard today, they really bother me, because the Donald I knew enlightened me that a man of his means could not see color, and see a man and give a man a chance — give a man a true chance to show himself, not judge him. That’s what makes me able to sit at this table. I’m not a perfect male, but at the end of the day, I’m still here because I matter.

And I want to thank you for motivating me from when I was a child. And now I sit here, all these years later, around the table, with the man that motivated me. Thank you. (Applause.)

PASTOR WHITE: Mr. President, Pastor Paula White. It’s been my honor. And, Derrick, I won’t take it back any longer, but to stand with you for 19 years in life and watch you — whether it was at Trump Tower — invite people of all different walks of life, from the lowest to the highest in society, of every different type of person, and now to serve you in this administration, I agree: You are the greatest President, and will go down in history as you create history for all Americans. (Applause.)

MR. LEVELL: It’s hard not to get choked up. My name is Bruce LeVell, and I’ve been with the President since day one. Pastor Darrell, I love you and thank you for introducing me to Pastor — to President Trump.

You know, when he said he wanted to “defend the babies,” I’m a rescue baby from an orphanage. And when this President came out and said, “What about adoption?” — I wonder where I would be, and I wonder what it would be like if this man wasn’t in office, just defending the babies in the womb or someone like me that was left abandoned in a home. And that’s very dear to me.

You know, I’m one of the largest black-owned jewelry store owners. My wife that runs it, she’s the boss in Atlanta. And, guys, let me tell you, it’s for the press — I’m just going to — for the record, this President is about to resurrect and restore black generational wealth like you have never seen before. (Applause.)

Okay? Not only are we talking about building — you know, creating jobs in the community, not only we talk about prison reform — yeah, Opportunity Zones — but how many Presidents says, “You know, you build the grocery store. You build your business. You create your generational wealth. You restore your 401(k).”

The disconnect — and all the candidates that are leading the Democrat Party, especially Biden, are the ones that started the prison reform bill. He sponsored it in ’94 for crying out loud.

No flag on the stage. Where is the flag for the — where — where is that? Thank, God, we have 100 flags when he’s on the stage. Thank you, Jesus.

You know? So, guys, you know, this — yes, he will and is the greatest President for the African American community, the black community, brown, mocha — give me another one, Alveda. (Laughter.) Okay? Can I get one witness at the table?

And the other thing, how are you out in the press for 45 years with all these friends traveling everywhere — and I was privileged to travel with you in the beginning. Opened the rallies. Thank God for Pastor Darrell. All the things we’ve been through. Now he runs for President now, all of a sudden, he’s a racist. How is that? Y’all know that’s a lie. Y’all need to stop that. I’m so tired —

MS. KING: It is a lie. And, Bruce, he is not colorblind. He can see.

MR. LEVELL: I — Alveda, I know that.

MS. KING: But hey, color is good, not bad.

MR. LEVELL: You — you know why?

MS. KING: He could see Jesus (inaudible). (Laughter.)

MR. LEVELL: Because he loves God and he loves Christ —

MR. LEVELL: — and that is through Him. And y’all know what I’m talking about. Don’t be afraid to say it. Come on. (Applause.) Come one. You know?

I’m tired. I’m tired. It irks me. It irks me when you call this man a racist. My skin crawls right now. And I’m tired of it. (Applause.)

My leg hurt. I got a new knee. I don’t feel good. (Laughter.) Look! Look! Look! I’m hurting. You attack him, you attack all of us. (Applause.) And I’m tired.

MR. LEVELL: I’m sorry, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Appreciate it.

MR. LEVELL: Jared and family, we pray for you and we pray for the family. Thank you for sacrificing.

Guys, he’s losing money. He is the only President that comes to the — and loses money. Everybody else that serves makes money. He loses money. And everyone knows that, sir. Myself — all of who serve at the pleasure of the President lose money. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at. Don’t forget that.

There is no pay to play. There is no special interest. There is nothing that he owes anyone. “I will run for President and I will not take special interest money and not be beholden to anyone except God.” (Applause.) I’m sorry. I’m sorry. (Laughs.) I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

THE PRESIDENT: I will say this: I do lose a fortune being President — (applause) — because we’re doing very important work.

But it is — and, you know, something I don’t talk about but I give my salary — it’s $450,000. I give it. And surprisingly, it — now, it may be back in George Washington’s day, but they don’t think any other President has ever given the salary. It’s $450,000.

THE PRESIDENT: So, no — it’s money. And I give it. I never had a story — I don’t think I’ve had a story that I give it. But I guarantee if I was ever late — because it comes in quarterly — if I was ever late, it would be a front-page story (inaudible).

And to be the best of our knowledge, we have not found another President that gave. But I appreciate what you just said. I appreciate it very much. (Applause.)

MR. DENNARD: My name is Paris Dennard. Mr. President, thank you for appointing me to a commissioner on the White House Fellows Commission. I serve on Black Voices for Trump and the advisory board. I worked for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which represents the publicly supported historically black colleges and universities.

And, sir, your first Black History Month celebration event — there was a small group of us who came to the White House. We meet in the Roosevelt Room. Dr. Scott was there. Ja’Ron was there. And at that meeting, I told you that you could — you had the potential to go down as one of the greatest Presidents for the black community.

I didn’t know if you were going to be able to do it, to be quite honest, because there’s a great challenge, moving from campaigning to actually governing and being the President.

But people can talk about all the things that you promised on the campaign trail, but that doesn’t matter. The things that matter are the things that you’ve actually done in your position as the President. For the black community, sir, you are changing lives. You’re changing lives for generations.

There were thousands of people, millions of people out there that will never get a chance to meet you, but they meet us, they see us, and they tell us all the time how appreciative they are. And their minds are opening.

The things that Candace is doing with Blexit and everything that the campaign is doing with opening up these centers that are going to be in dozens of cities across the country, it’s because you are leading by example and you’re changing lives for the better. And I am so proud and I’m honored to defend you, to support you — because it’s easy. It’s easy because the policies are making a difference.

So on behalf of the millions of black people that will never have this tremendous opportunity like we’ve been given today, I want to say “thank you” from my family, from my friends. Thank you for what you’re doing because you are changing lives.

And in Black History Month, we are here to celebrate black history, but we’re also here to celebrate the fact we have a President who’s making black history. And we thank you. (Applause.)

MS. OWENS: My name is Candace Owens. According to the New York Post, I am “Democrats’ worst nightmare.” I take great pride in being that. My — I obviously run the Blexit organization. I started the Blexit movement because I really just wanted to develop a route for all of the black Americans to follow me away from the liberal ideas that I espoused in my youth.

I — honestly, I know people are hitting at the mainstream media, but I got to tell you: I thank you all for waking me up, for calling everything racist to the point that it made no sense and I had to start digging. (Laughter.) Because every single thing the man said couldn’t have possibly been racist if he had been loved and celebrated for decades.

So it is thanks to the lies, it is thanks to the left constantly overplaying their hand that so many black Americans are waking up today.

There’s a fatigue setting in. We’re genuinely just tired of being told that everything is racist and everything around us is white nationalism and white supremacy. You may have seen me testifying in Congress against the absurd hearing of Democrats pretending to care about what’s hurting black America at the same time that they murder millions of our babies, and at the same time that they remove fathers from the home systematically, via their welfare policies that they established, at the same time that they incarcerated our men for decades.

So what I say to you all is: Thank you, keep going, and we will meet you at the finish line when we’ve cracked the black vote. Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)

MS. HARDAWAY: I love it. Hey, I’m Diamond with “Diamond and Silk.” And, Mr. President, there are those that write history. There’s those that read history. And I want you to know that you are making history. (Applause.)

MS. HARDAWAY: Now, I need you to understand that we not new to this we true to this. From day one —

MS. HARDAWAY: — we have been on your side and we’ve never left it.

You know, I keep hearing the left talking about they a champion for this and a champion for that, but when is a champion going to win? Because they ain’t winning.

But we done already found a champion. A true champion.

MS. RICHARDSON: That’s right.

MS. HARDAWAY: Right here in our President, President Donald J. Trump. Thank you so much. Thank you, first of all, for making “Diamond and Silk” famous. (Laughter and applause.) (Inaudible.) Making us famous! I can’t even go to the grocery store no more.

MS. HARDAWAY: And let me tell you all two things. First of all, the first time we met him, he brought us on the stage and we didn’t know what was going to happen. And the first thing that this businessman billionaire did was looked at us and said, “I hope you monetize this.”

MS. HARDAWAY: Now, wait a minute, you all. This billionaire businessman, who happened to be white — I ain’t never had a black man come up. Obama didn’t come and say, “Hey, I hope you monetize it.” You couldn’t have been sitting at this table of up under an Obama administration. But here, we sit here up under a Trump administration. This is a true champion.

Now let me say one more thing because I could talk forever and then I’m going to let it go. President Trump is not a racist.

MS. HARDAWAY: What he is a realist. And the only color he sees is green and he wants you to have some of it. Okay? (Applause.)

He sees red, white, and blue.

MS. HARDAWAY: That’s right. Because he’s very patriotic. He loves this country. He loves America and he loves Americans.

Here is my last thing: I want everybody to make sure that you vote right so you won’t get left. (Applause.) Vote red. R-E-D: “Remove Every Democrat” by voting them out. (Applause.)

MS. RICHARDSON: Wow. I’m Silk with “Diamond and Silk.” And I’m usually the quiet one and the silent one. But, you know, silence can be violent. Allow me to say this: First, I want to say thank you for allowing me, as a black woman, a seat at the table.

MS. RICHARDSON: You know? Because this would not have happened under Obama administration. It happened under Trump administration.

You know, they always say, Mr. President, that, “Well, he’s a little rough around the edges.” But I always reply back and let them know that we need those rough edges to cut through all of the B.S. that be going on on the Hill, in Congress. We need somebody that’s not going go along just to get along with some smooth edges. We need somebody that don’t have a problem with going toe to toe against the status quo. And that’s exactly what you did, Mr. President.

We’re in the middle — Diamond and Silk is the middle of writing a book, “Uprising: The Awakening of Diamond and Silk.” You know, when I — when I — while we were writing this book there’s little things that’s coming back to us, because we’ve been in this since 2015, from day one.

And one of — as we’re writing, and I’m looking at a lot of different things — Mr. President, we’ve come a long way. A long ways at winning, winning, and winning. And you know what? They say the –- they sing the song “I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired.” But I haven’t gotten tired of winning. (Laughter and applause.) I don’t feel it.

So I just want to say thank you, Mr. President. I love you from the bottom of my heart. And November the 3rd, 2020, you will be the President of these United States. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Great, huh? You know, my wife, the First Lady, said — this a long time ago now it’s like four years ago — she said there are two people that she was watching on the Internet. They’re the most incredible two people she’s ever seen. I said, “Big deal. What is it?” You know, she said, “You have to see this.” And I saw — it’s, I guess, almost five years — and I watched them and they had such a spirit. And they were for me before I was even running. (Laughter.) They were so early. And you have been such great friends, and I appreciate it. I appreciate it.

And Candace, I will say that you’re another one. She saw you too. She said, “I just saw somebody with the fastest, sharpest mouth and mind.” (Laughter.) By the way, you know, I’ll tell you: I know a lot with fast mouths, but they don’t have —

And I said, “Let me take a look.” And I looked. And it was a long time ago already. You were really young. You’re young you were really young.

But we appreciate it. We appreciate everybody in this room. And people have made such progress and we’re making tremendous progress.

You know, something that happened recently that the press doesn’t write about — but, every year a group of wonderful people from the black colleges and universities would come up to my office. A lot of people — 40, 35, 50 one year. And after the second year, I said, “How come you keep coming back?” And they came back for money, Deneen. Money.

And I said, “Why do you have to come back? Other colleges have money. You don’t do — you don’t come back every year.” And one of the gentlemen, who is a great guy, from one of the schools — good school, very good school — he said, “We come back because we have to, because we need money. And we come back and other schools don’t have to because we — they want us to come back every single year. They want us to beg.” He used that word. “They want us to beg.”

THE PRESIDENT: And I said — because I was (inaudible). You know, it was the first year they came, and I didn’t think anything unusual. And the second year, and they come into the Oval Office and — a big group. I heard of almost every one of the colleges and universities.

And after the third year, I said, “You know, you shouldn’t have to be coming and — while I’ll miss you if you don’t come — because they’re very good people — I said, “You should have a long-term deal. You shouldn’t have to come back in like this. This is demeaning to you.” He said, “It is. We love being in the Oval Office, but nobody has ever had us in the Oval Office before. But it is demeaning to us to come back.”

And we just passed a bill where they’re all set. They got the money and it’s long-term. They don’t have to see me. I’ll miss them. I’ll miss them. And they’ll miss me. But you know what? Now they’re all set. And they have a long-term future.

They were saying things like, “We can’t even fix up areas, even if we have the money because we’re not sure that the next President or even you are going to approve it next year. Maybe, for some reason, you’re not going to approve it.”

So that’s one thing. And, you know, you’ve been hearing all about this, aand they’re very — they’re a big heart of this nation. That’s — they do a fantastic job. I got to know them a little bit and I said, “So, we’re going to fix that up for you and we’re going to do it.” And we did it — I don’t know what the length is, but it’s very long-term now.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s 10 years.

PARTICIPANT: It’s the FUTURE Act.

THE PRESIDENT: So I don’t know where I’m going to be in 10 years. I probably won’t be seeing them. But it was very — I thought it was very unfair.

Now, the press isn’t going to write that and they’re not going to write a lot of the things that were said in this room today because they just choose not to. I don’t know why they choose not to, but so many nice things were said.

We have tremendous media in this room. We have tremendous media no matter where I go, I guess. And I can honestly say that’s been true before I was President too, so I don’t know what it is. Someday, somebody will explain that to me, but that’s what it’s been. I guess that’s how I got to be President, to a certain extent.

But they don’t explain those stories. They don’t explain Opportunity Zones, where Tim Scott, from South Carolina — he’ll be with me. I’m making a speech tomorrow — a rally. And sells out immediately we have tremendous popularity in South Carolina. We’re going to go down.

Some people have said I’m “trolling” the Democrats. And maybe I am. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Because we did in Colorado we did it in, you know, New Hampshire. We — no matter where we go — Iowa — no matter where we go, we have much bigger crowds. If one of the — Pocahontas has 2,000 people — 2,000 people. And they say, “Oh, what a crowd.” And I’ll have 15,000 people inside and — I tell you, you saw Colorado — we had 20-, 25,000 people outside and 12,000 people inside. They don’t say anything about the crowd. And the cameras don’t cover the crowds.

My wife said, “How — how was it tonight?” And I said, “Great. Didn’t you see?” She said, “I heard it.” But they never go around to show the stadium. They never do. So we put it on the Internet. That’s the great thing with the Internet.

But, as she said — but as I said, you can’t disguise 25,000 or 15,000 or whatever it is. You can’t disguise that. Because when you hear that sound, it sounds like an Ohio State football game, or an LSU or Alabama football game. So it’s pretty amazing. It’s pretty amazing. But they don’t talk about it.

And yet, when a Joe Biden, who’s not sure what’s happening — but when he has an event, if he’s got a crowd of — a small crowd, just a small crowd — they’ll talk about how magnificent that was. And yet, we’ll have 25-, 30,000.

We went to South Jersey — and they actually reported it, which was shocking — we had 175,000 requests for tickets. One hundred seventy-five thousand. And South Jersey is closed during the winter, essentially. I mean, people are opening up their hotels or opening up their homes. But we had 175,000 requests for tickets, and the place was just swamped with tens of thousands of people outside, and they don’t want to talk about it. The whole thing is sort of crazy.

And I don’t get it because it’s so good for our country, what’s happening. And whether it’s black or white or any other group — Asian, because you see what’s happening with Asian you see what’s happening with Hispanic — the best unemployment rates for every group. For very importantly, for black — the best unemployment we’ve ever had by far and getting better. And getting better. (Applause.)

So we’ve set every record. Poverty numbers — the best you’ve ever had. The best we’ve ever had for a number of groups. But black people, right now, are having the best — statistically, the best numbers that you’ve ever had, and it’s really an honor.

We have a situation with the virus. We’ve done a great job. The press won’t give us credit for it. We have — in a world that has some big problems — you look at China and you look at industry between the two countries. And I did something that had never been done before — because it had never been done before: I closed our borders to certain areas of the world. I won’t be specific, because it’s not nice to be spe- — you know, specific. But you understand where.

And I closed the borders to certain areas of the world very early. We’d never closed a border before. We’ve never done that before. And flights coming in and people coming in — because they had a very early problem. And I closed them.

I took a lot of heat from the Democrats. They said, “What’s he doing?” Because anything I do, they’ll do the opposite. Like with the wall. We want security in our country. If I would have said, “We will not build a wall,” they would have insisted. And I should have done that. (Laughter.) I should have done that, David. If I did that, we wouldn’t have had no problem. Right, Jack? So I should have said —

PARTICIPANT: I’m waiting for you to (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, you’re right. I should have said, “We will not have a wall.” And they would have insisted. I would have had the wall. We would have been perfect.

But, anyway — but we’ve done an incredible job because we closed early. And actually, the Democrats said I was a racist. Not from black-people standpoint, but from Asian-people standpoint, from Chinese-people standpoint. They said I was a racist because I closed our country to people coming in from certain areas. They called me a racist.

These people are really in trouble. I’ll tell you what: They’ve got problems. And now they say, “Oh…” We have 15 people in this country that, right now — and then we brought in 40 from — these were Americans that were in trouble way outside, near Japan. And we brought them in and they were in quarantine and they’re getting better. That was 40 or 42. We brought them in, which I felt we had to do.

So they immediately said, “It jumped from 15 to an extra 40.” (Laughter.) Headline. And everyone — no, we brought them in, Jack, because if we didn’t, I mean, we’re not going to let something happen. We had to do it. And I knew immediately that the press would add it and say this like it’s catastrophic, it’s ba- — but we’ve done a great job.

Those people are all doing well. They’re doing very well. The 15 — of the 15, most of them are doing very well. One is quite sick, frankly. Most of them are doing really well. And the 15 will soon be down to 3 or 4 because we take them off the list as they get better and they’re recuperate. Like, if you had the flu, you recuperate. You get better. And they’re recuperating. But we’re — think of it: We’re at 15 people, and we would have been at many, many people had we not closed the border.

So we don’t get credit for it. The press doesn’t write it. They wrote a story today — I gave a press conference last night that I thought was very good. It went very well. I know when it goes badly. I know better than anybody in the world if we say something — I know better than anybody.

I mean, I don’t go around like Biden, where I’m in Ohio and I say, “Thank you very much, the people of Iowa.” (Laughter.) And they start screaming at him, “No, no. You’re in Ohio.” (Laughter.) This happens time after time. I don’t say, “We shot and killed 150 million people last year with guns” — which is exactly half of our population. And nobody talks about it. And then they say, Terrence, “Oh, it’s fine. He did wonderful tonight.” (Laughter.)

You know, that’s one of those things — not recoverable. If you say — as an example, I’m in New Hampshire and I say that I’m in Iowa, you’re dead. He gets away with it. If you say — if I ever said — or Jack, if I ever said that we have to do something about guns last year we killed 150 million people. I guess he meant a tiny — you know, a lot but still, a tiny, tiny fraction of that number.

But if I ever said that, it may be career-threatening. But he said — I mean, you heard him. He said — in fact, when he said it, I said, “Man, that was a big mistake.” He was going to get — he didn’t get killed. They said, “He did very well tonight.” (Laughter.) “He was fabulous tonight.” He said we killed 150 million people. He makes some gaffes. He makes some gaffes. He’s gaffe-prone. (Laughter.)

I’m actually not gaffe-prone. You know, if you think about it, I make these massive speeches. I’d say 70, 80 — you know, the best speeches are the ones where I’m not on teleprompter. But teleprompter does make it a little bit easier. But you know, I make them — I don’t make gaffes. I get no credit for it. I don’t get credit for these big crowds. I never get credit. But people are starting to figure it out because the job numbers are so good and things are so good.

But what where have really done a great job, I think, was what happened over the last couple of weeks with this — and it just — you know, this is life. Things come up that you never even think about. Who would think that this was going to happen?

You hear — it starts with a problem that they have in China. And you say, “That’s too bad.” And then it gets bigger and starts mushrooming. And then I closed the border. I said, “Just in case.” And we have 15 people instead of thousands of people. Okay? It could have been thousands of people. I said, “Just in case.” And we have 15 people instead of thousands of people. Okay? It could have been thousands of people. But we have 15 people who are almost all better now.

But we do things. And it would be really nice if we could be recognized by the press fairly. And you know what? It would be really nice if we do something wrong, we get criticized by the press.

But I gave a press conference yesterday that was really a very good press conference. And some people thought it was great and most of you people saw it. It was covered live. One of the advantages is that I get covered live all the time. And I like that better because they can’t chop it up and make it look — I’d rather be live.

But it was a very good press conference. And basically it was a calming press conference. It was a conference to say we’re doing well. It was a conference where I took out the statistics, which were recently done from Johns Hopkins, which is one of the great places in the country, where it says the United States is the most prepared nation — think of that: “Countries best prepared to deal with a Pandemic.” So this was done by Johns Hopkins and it was put out. (Applause.) But they don’t cover it. They don’t cover it.

The second is United Kingdom, then the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Thailand, Sweden, Denmark, South Korea, Finland. Okay. So this is it. We’re number one. And then the Democrats go out — I see Schumer going out and these guys — just a talking point. Frankly, I may do it if I was them, okay? To be honest. (Laughter.) I’ve been known to do this too. And they ask you, “How is he doing?” “Terribly. He’s doing terribly. It’s horrible. Horrible.” (Laughter.) It’s so bad.

And I did say yesterday — first time, because I understand politics. I think I’m pretty well — I’ve only been doing it for a few years — and I think, to the best of my knowledge, we’re in the White House. Right? (Applause.)

But I know politics. And, you know, politics is fine. But when it comes time to talk about pandemics or whatever you may want to call it, you got to get away from politics. And the Schumers — Cryin’ Chuck and all of these people — they can’t — Nancy — you can’t go out and just say, “Terrible. It’s terrible.”

We’re doing incredibly. Think of it: 15 people. Out of billions of people, 15 people. They’re getting better and soon they’re all going to better, hopefully. One is in very serious shape, and we understand that, and we understand it very well, but — but we also have the other group and they’re all getting better. So I think it’s an incredible achievement that our country has done.

And one thing I have to pay tribute, we have — whether it’s Dr. Fauci — we have the best people on Earth. We have the most talented people on Earth. We’re giving whatever other countries need. We’re helping them. Sometimes it’s over phone sometimes we’re sending people. But we have to run our country too. A lot of people say, “Why isn’t he in China?” Well, you know, China has to want that. And other places have — but they’re running it and they’re working very hard, I will tell you. And we’re in very constant communication — President Xi and myself. Very, very constant.

But we are doing — and, by the way, their numbers seem to have maybe — they look like they’re coming down which, eventually, hopefully, that’s what’s supposed to happen. But it’s gone to other places and those numbers will come down.

We’ve done an incredible job in this country and the professionals — and me, but forget me — I did one thing that a lot of people disagreed with, including many of the professionals: close the borders. Because they said it’s too serious a move. I took tremendous heat. Tremendous heat. It was called everything, including, David, “racist,” okay? I was called everything. And for a while, I said, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.” And now, it turned out to be great because we have so few people that have been affected.

But, I just think it’s really important for the media to report stories accurately. And they don’t have to go overboard, but I’ll tell you, they shouldn’t go overboard the other way because they are trying to build this up and they are doing things and saying things that are absolutely crazy. And they are really hurting our country — the fake news media. And it’s not all fake, but much of it is. And they have to cover this very accurately. You know, it’s different than covering other things.

This country is doing great. We are in a position that few countries would be in. And if we didn’t have the talent running this country — and all the way down, from top to bottom, the job that these doctors have done, the job that the professionals are doing. And we’re working with local hospitals, we’re working with the states all over the country.

And, you know, I got criticized because I said $2.5 billion. That’s a lot of money. See, $2.5 billion is a lot of money. And the Democrats said, “How dare he only ask for $2.5 billion?” But this never happened to me before. Usually, I ask for $2.5 billion, and they said, “We’re going to give you 10 cents.” (Laughter.)

And I asked for $2.5 billion. My people came, “This is what we need: $2.5 billion.” And I said, “That’s a lot. That’s a lot of money.” Because, you know, if you’re in business and you say, “$2.5 billion,” — what I can build for $2.5 billion — what I can do for that, Deneen.

So what happens is, Schumer says, “He needs $8.5 [billion].” You know what I said, Jack? I said, “I’ll take it if you want to give it to me.” (Laughter.) I thought, you know, I’ll ask for a lot, and if I get a piece —

So I they criticized me because they say “$2.5 billion, he needs more.” What they should do is say, “Why does he need so much?” But they don’t say that because they have inverse thinking.

But the way they make you look bad is to say, “How dare he only ask…” Think of that: “How dare he only ask for $2.5 billion. We demand that he take $8.5 [billion.]” I’ll accept $8.5 [billion]. I’ll take it if they — because this never happened to me before. All my life, I ask, and I get a piece of it.

But the Democrats are screaming, “How dare he do that?” And they’re not doing a good job we’re doing a great job. While they’re working on impeachment, we were working on doing this because we were hearing about it while they were wasting the country’s time and the world’s time, talking about the impeachment hoax. And they got shut out, except for one very foolish, frankly, not a very good senator. A man who got in on a false premise and he’s not very popular in his own state. And I guess I got half of it. I say 󈬤.” We got 52 and half out of 53 votes, right?

But he’s not a very popular guy, I can tell you. A lot of people aren’t liking him too much. And he shouldn’t have done what he did. But we did nothing wrong. So we had to work through an impeachment hoax. That’s what they were doing.

In the meantime, we had already started preparing because we started hearing rumors. We are so prepared like we never have been prepared. Now, they’ll come up with a certain amount of money — whether it’s two and a half, I’ll be satisfied with that whether it’s eight and a half, we’ll take that too. And we’ll have a lot money left over, and we’ll do a great job. We’ll probably do about the same job.

But I just want to say, this is really above politics. They have to take — it’s easy for, you know, Schumer. “What kind of a job do you think they’re doing?” He should say, “They’ve done a great job.” And you know what? He’d actually pick up votes. People would respect him for that. Instead, “What kind of job…” “They’re doing a terrible job.” He has no idea.

We had a trade deal. I talked about it a little bit yesterday. A phenomenal deal with China. Billions and billions of dollars of worth is going to come into our country. Many billions of dollars. It’s a great deal. And they went to Schumer and they went to others. Talking points. They went to the Democrats and they said, “What do you think of the deal?” “Oh, it’s terrible. Terrible.” They didn’t even know what the deal was. In fact, he said, “They took off the tariffs. They didn’t want the tariffs.” I put the tariffs on when he thought I took them off. We didn’t. (Laughter.) We have $250 billion. Look at it. We get 25 percent on $250 billion, then we get more above that. And I left them on. People said, “That’s amazing.”

But the Democrats didn’t know that. They said, “He took off the tariffs.” And you know what? They got killed. But the press doesn’t report that. So the natural instinct — and again, I should say, I do it too. They’ll ask me and, you know, you do it too. I guess it’s a natural political instinct. But when they say, “What kind of deal is it?” “Terrible. Terrible. Terrible.” And people get it.

With what we’re talking about now with the virus, we can’t do that. We have to do it differently. If we’re doing a great job, we should congratulate these professionals that are the best in the world.

And you know what? If we were doing a bad job, we should also be criticized. But we have done an incredible job. We’re going to continue. It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear. And from our shores, we — you know, it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens. Nobody really knows.

The fact is, the greatest experts — I’ve spoken to them all. Nobody really knows. But we have done and our professionals have done a fantastic job. We’re working with other countries. We’re trying to help some other countries. A couple of them have gotten hit pretty hard. South Korea and Italy, in particular. They’ve been hit pretty hard. And it’ll all work out. And I just want to thank all of the people that have worked with us in government and some of these great professionals because they have been incredible — the job.

To think of it — with all of what you see going on — 15 people. We brought in the others, but — and they’re doing good. But 15 people is almost, I would say, a miracle.

Also, what I want to do, though, is I want to thank the black people of America. Because, frankly, you people, what you’ve gone through over the years, and now you’re making a comeback like you’ve never — and I had a phrase — I had a phrase during speeches, during rallies, and I’d use it whenever I saw, whenever we had a lot of black people in there, okay? And I have to say, I’d go through a list: You had the worst crime. You had the lowest housing ownership. You had — and I’d read 10, 15, 20 points.

And, look, a couple of them — NBC just left because they don’t want to hear this because they don’t want — (laughter). She just left. No, she just left, from NBC — because it’s owned by Comcast. And they’re the racists because they’re (inaudible).

But I know this. I mean, she (inaudible). As I’m talking, I’m looking at her, she’s not writing anything down because she knows she’s not going to report any of this. She only wants to report something bad and there’s nothing bad in this room. What’s going on in this room is incredible. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: But when you look — when you look at what’s happening — and I used to use the expression, “What do you have to lose?” It was much more effective when I said, “What the hell do you have to lose?” — which I did a lot, but some people said it’s a bad word. Okay? If somebody else said it, it’s okay. If I say it, it’s a bad word.

PARTICIPANT: “Hell” is in the Bible.

PARTICIPANT: It is in the Bible.

THE PRESIDENT: (Laughter.) But it was much more — when I said, “What the hell…” They talked about it. You have tremendous crime. Tremendous lack of ownership. The worst schools. The worst this.

I read, like — right? — 10 points. And one day I’m saying — you know, I had that on the teleprompter, which are always a little boring. But here I’m reading these points and I’m looking at the audience, I said — it wasn’t like written. I said, “The Democrats have ruled for 110 years. And you have all these horrible statistics.” I said, “Vote for me. What the hell do you have to lose?”

You know, I came off the stage. And my people said, “Sir, that was quite disrespectful.” (Laughter.) I said, “It was true.” So I said, “What do you have to lose?” So now you look what Tim Scott has done with the Opportunity Zones. I mean, those Opportunity Zones are incredible. Your colleges and universities that we’ve just talked about. So many things.

But criminal justice reform — this guy walked in. (Inaudible.) Jared. (Applause.) People could not get it approved. Obama couldn’t get it approved. And nobody could get it approved. And I had to call in a lot of chips because we needed some very conservative Republicans to get this approved. And yet, we had some very — we had Mike Lee. We had Ted Cruz. We had guys that were already onto it. It’s one of the reasons — I said, “Whoa.” But Chuck Grassley was already there.

And I said, “That’s incredible that you have some of our toughest, most conservative people already there.” And I was able to get other people, plus we were able to get it through, and it was a great achievement. And I want to thank Jared, because Jared came in and said (inaudible). (Applause.)

And just to finish, though, I’ll tell you why people tend not to do things. Normally, people would be happy with that and the people that know are. You know better than anybody, Alveda, because you are sitting next to us and she’s the one. (Applause.)

MS. KING: Yes. We have proof. We have proof.

THE PRESIDENT: But — and you heard this story maybe. Van Jones was in my office, almost in tears — and he was actually in tears — asking for help. And I think that’s good. I think that’s noble and that’s a good thing. And he was there because of Jared.

And there was a group, and they were saying, “It’s dead. We’re five short.” And a couple of the ones that were not against us — “we’re going to delay the bill” — and then it goes to asunder, right? It’s goes to ashes.

When you delay it for a period of time it’s, you know, they were going to do things to delay it. Very easily to do — very easy to do. I got them to be good. I didn’t get their vote I didn’t need their vote. But they were great because they didn’t delay it.

And, I mean, they were going to filibuster the bill so it would’ve gone on and on. And then, it would have just gone away, and people say, “Hey, everybody has to go home. We have to start this again.”

And they didn’t do that. They were great. And we got the votes necessary. We got it done. Nobody else could have done it, in this case, but me. Nobody else could have done it. And Jared came in and he said, “You’re the only one.” And I got it done. He felt it was so important.

And I was getting mixed reviews. Now, I’m getting tremendous reviews. But some of the people that didn’t vote for it, they’re saying, “I wish we voted for criminal justice reform.”

So Van Jones is up making a speech. I said to my wife, “Come. This will be going to be very nice. Look.” (Laughter.) He’s on MSDNC, right? (Laughter.) The station. All right? Do you ever hear that one: “MSDNC”? No, it’s a natural — right? That’s a natural. The worst. I mean, these people.

I’ll tell you what: NBC is worse, in my opinion, than CNN. They’re worse. They’re absolute bad people. And they paid me a lot of money and I made them a lot of money with “The Apprentice.” They paid me a lot of money over the years. And I can’t believe it. They’re just bad — they’re bad people. They’re really bad people. And they don’t report the truth. And neither does CNN. And neither does a lot of the media.

But — so Van Jones is on there. I say to my wife, “This is going to be great to watch. Let’s watch this. He’s going to be so nice to us, because without me…” So he wanted to thank the Reverend Al Sharpton. (Laughter.) And then he went through a list of many people. He went through a list of many people. He went through a list — he didn’t mention your name either, by the way.

PARTICIPANT: He did not mention them?

THE PRESIDENT: He didn’t mention anybody in this room. But — and, by the way, maybe people in this room, maybe he wasn’t aware. Maybe, you know — but he went through a list of people that I never heard of. And he said, at the end — it was the end of the show, which I think nobody watched because I don’t think — is the show still on? I don’t think so. But it was the end of the how and he thanked a whole lot of people. I said to my wife, “He never thanked me.” (Inaudible.) That’s why I talk about it. You know why? Because I don’t talk about it, people aren’t going to know.

I said to my wife, “Nobody could have done it. President Obama couldn’t do it. Bush couldn’t do it. Nobody could do it but me. I got it done.” I’m good at getting things approved. I’m very good at this. Like you’re good at things, I’m good at things. He’s good at football. This is guy is good at — I never to follow him speaking. (Inaudible.) Right? (Laughter.) I’ll ask Scott.

But I got it done. And he didn’t mention my name. But I’ll tell you what he did do. At the end of the show, he mentioned all of these names. And then he said, “Now, look, we have one thing we have to do this year. We have to defeat this President of the United States. And you go out, and we have to defeat this President of the United States.” I never forgot it. That was a few months ago.

I will never forget it. It’s — I have the great memory of all times. I will never forget that because it was bad and very, very — it very terrible. Not mentioning my name was bad. It’s not that I want — I get enough publicity. But you know what? This was an important thing. To my family, it was an important thing. I mean, this guy worked so hard on getting that done and he didn’t even mention — or your name, by the way. But he didn’t mention our name. We were like nothing. We were like nothing.

And I know how some of you feel. You do things and you don’t get mentioned. Okay? But it’s the same thing. But then, on top, the indignity of saying, “We must now focus on one thing. We must defeat this President of the United States.”

And then the show ended. My wife said, “That wasn’t too good, was it?” It’s a disgrace.

So I just want to thank everyone. You’re a very special people to me, and I really do appreciate your being here.

And all of this — you know, these stars, I hope you’re making a hell of a lot of money. (Applause.) Because I’ll lose billions of dollars. I’m doing — I lose a fortune between what I don’t do and what it costs me.

You know what my legal fees are? Tens of millions of dollars. I spend tens of millions of dollars on legal fees, defending myself against scum because they’re scum. And then they say I get rich on this. If a man from an Arab country goes into one of my hotels, they say, “Trump is getting rich.”

They don’t realize I don’t even take foreign — if somebody gets in, you lose billions of dollars, but if a person rents a hotel room for 300 bucks, it’s like a major event. These are very dishonest people.

Hopefully, out of all of this, the press will become much more honest. There’s no other word — “honest.” And if they do, we have achieved something that will be great.

But we have our press, because — (applause) — our press is the Internet. Our press is being with you. Our press is — as much as they hate all of us, I guess — but they can’t put the cameras — although I did notice the one that did leave was NBC, which is pretty pathetic.

But we’re going to go into another room. We’re going to celebrate because we have a whole group of people.

I want to thank the people at this table. You’ve been so incredible. And beyond this table — where is she? She’s back there. She’s —

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know what happened. She is so great. Thank you, honey. I’m pointing at you. These big guys are standing right — these great photographers are in front of you.

But I want to thank you all because you’ve been fantastic.

MS. RICHARDSON: May I just say —

MR. LEVELL: Can we all say a prayer with you before you leave?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go ahead. One second. We’ll do this.

MS. RICHARDSON: May I just say one thing that you did ask, four years ago, “What the hell do we have to lose?” But if we don’t vote right this time, we’re going to have a hell of a whole lot to lose. I just want to say that.

PARTICIPANTS: Make sure you vote right, so you won’t get left.

THE PRESIDENT: (Inaudible.) You’re going to have a lot. This could be overturned easily. We need that four years because, you know, I say it’s like a tree. You plant it, but takes a while to grab root. When this grabs root, they’re not going to be able to destroy (inaudible). (Applause.)

MR. BREWER: I don’t want to interrupt, but I got to fade in because this is Black History Month. Man, you’re the first black President. (Applause.)

MR. LEVELL: Father God, in the name of Jesus, we thank you, oh God, for this group holding up the arms of this President, oh God — a President who cares, oh God, not just for black folks, but for every American, oh God. We pray his health. We pray his strength. We thank you, oh God, by the power of your holy spirit that you’re protecting him. You’re protecting his family. And you’re filling him, oh God. And we thank you for what you have done and what you have yet to do to through this, your vessel. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

PARTICIPANTS: Amen. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you everybody. Thank you. Thank you everybody.

We’re going over now. We’re going over to the East Room.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the press has been really out of line. And I think they’re also very worried that, you know, we’re going to be running against somebody. And they see these characters up onstage and, you know, anything can happen in an election. And they see these people. And if any of these people ever did happen to assume the presidency, you would have a crash like you’ve never seen before.

And I think the market is also putting that into the equation. But the virus — we’re doing a very professional job. We have the best people. Our Vice President is working very hard. We have tremendous people involved. And we’re doing — as I said, we’re at 15 people and they’re getting better. We have one that’s quite ill. We got them late. And — but we have a country that’s pulling together and pulling together really well.

I think the Democrats should not try and make this — or the Republicans — should not make this a political issue. This is above politics.

Again, we closed the borders very early. We didn’t let certain regions of the world come in. By doing that, we really saved a lot. We made a great decision. I took a lot of heat over that decision, but it turned out to be the right decision. And that’s why we’re at 15, and other places have many more.

So I just want to thank you, and thank the media too. Thank you very much.


Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of the Commonwealth of Australia after Bilateral Meeting

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it is a wonderful opportunity for me to have a lengthy discussion with new Prime Minister Turnbull and his team. One of the things when we speak to our Australian partners is there are very few things we disagree on, and that’s not only because of what I hope to be a growing friendship between myself and the Prime Minister, but the lasting, enduring alliance that exists between our two countries. There are very few countries around the world that matches the kinds of continuous, comprehensive friendship and partnership that we maintain with Australia.

They’re strong people-to-people ties, extraordinary cooperation on the security front, where Australia is the second largest contributor to the counter-ISIL coalition, an enormously helpful participant in our efforts to stabilize and provide the opportunity for the Afghan people to secure their own country.

On the economic front, we’re strong trading partners, and we very much appreciate the constructive work that was done between our trade ministers in completing TPP, which is going to establish the kinds of high-standard rules of the road in trade and commerce in what accounts for 40 percent of the world’s GDP here in the Asia Pacific region.

We’ve had a chance to talk not only about the continuing need to ramp up pressure against ISIL and our collaboration in reaching out to the Muslim world and working with them to prevent radicalization and to prevent the kinds of horrific terrorist attacks that we’ve seen most recently in Paris, but we’ve also had a chance to talk about how we can reach out to our own people and Muslim communities in order to ensure that they feel fully a part of American and Australian democracy.

We had an excellent discussion around the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and maritime rules. Since neither of us are claimants in some of the controversies that are taking place in the South China Sea, it’s, I think, very important for us simply to uphold the basic principle that these issues should be resolved by international norms and rule of law, and peacefully settled. And we’re hopeful that that can be accomplished.

And we had a chance to talk about our own bilateral trade and exchanges. And as part of that, I extended an invitation to the Prime Minister to visit Washington sometime soon. And he’s agreed, so we’re going to be able to set up a time. Unfortunately, it will probably be in the winter and it will be a little cold. That’s always a little worrisome for folks down under, but we’ll try to make it as comfortable and as productive as possible.

So it’s not surprising that we had an excellent meeting. This typically is how Americans and Aussies get along. And we are incredibly grateful for their friendship and their partnership, and it’s one that extends regardless of party and whoever has occupied respective seats in our countries.

PRIME MINISTER TURNBULL: Well, thank you very much, Mr. President. We’ve had a very good discussion. The security challenges in the Middle East, of course, featured large in our discussion and in all of our thinking today. And it featured largely in the G20 discussions that we both participated in, in Turkey.

We are there, as the President said, as the second-largest foreign contributor to the effort against — the campaign against ISIL. And we will continue, shoulder-to-shoulder, with the United States and our allies in the fight against this type of extremist violence, this type of terrorism.

We have a common purpose and a common strategy. And I appreciate, Mr. President, the support and the leadership you’re giving, and I know that you appreciate the support that Australia is giving to that effort.

We’ve also discussed regional issues, and we are very much of the same mind. We are committed to the rule of law, to ensuring that the big changes in this region occur in a peaceful manner and in accordance with international norms. That’s absolutely vital for the continued peace and security of our region.

The TPP, which has been concluded, but, of course, now requires ratification by the various signatories, is a very big step. A key part of our government strategy to ensure that we remain a high-wage, generous social welfare net, first-world economy is trade. As I said at the G20, the flexibility that open markets and trade gives economies enables us better to deal with the disruptive change that we encounter in a modern global economy that is expanding but changing at a pace that has never seen before in the history of human development. Open markets, flexible markets, agility — these are all part of the tools that enable us to continue to progress. And at the heard of all of that is innovation.

The President is more aware than most that so many of these great champions of innovation have come out of the United States, and so rapidly. Indeed, it’s a sobering thought that many of the big American corporations — not just American corporations, of course, but digital businesses across the world — if they were human beings, would still be at school. So some of these giants would still be at primary school, Mr. President. They’d still be in short pants. But they’re changing the world in which we live, and it’s a very exciting one.

So we are very much of the same mind — not just because of the long history of close relations between Australia and America, but I think our two governments have the same agenda, one that is committed to strong defense of our national security and also promoting our economic security and our future prosperity through trade, through the rule of law, through a commitment to an orderly, international arrangement and a peaceful international order that is understood so that big changes, whether it is in terms of growth of one economy over another, or in terms of the disruption of technologies, can occur in a peaceful way.

I should say that we also discussed the challenge of protecting cybersecurity. And again, we are very much of the same mind there. It is absolutely vital that the domain of the Internet, the most remarkable piece of infrastructure ever devised by mankind — and, Mr. President, as leaders of two countries committed to freedom and always a little skeptical of government, it’s important to remember that the growth of the Internet has been largely affected without the involvement of government, which is why both of our countries support maintaining the current governance arrangements for the Internet so that it is largely — or is entirely governed by the Internet community, as opposed for being dictated to by governments.

So, all in all, it’s been, as I think we both expected, a very productive and constructive discussion. We’ve had a very useful time I think in Turkey. And we were both shocked by the terrible attack in Paris. It was a sobering reminder of the threat that terrorism poses to us. But there was comfort in this: Total solidarity and sympathy with the people of France. It was absolutely united. The leadership shown by the nations represented there was as solid as I’m sure we will see — what we know we’ll see from the leaders here at APEC. And the great leadership shown, particularly in this difficult challenge, by the leaders of the large Muslim nations there — President Widodo, our host President Erdogan Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia — was very welcome, indeed.

So we’ve come from a very successful meeting in Antalya, and we look forward to another very successful international meeting here in Manila.


U.S. Department of State

Before I close, I do want to say something about another topic that&rsquos obviously attracted a lot of attention, and that is the situation with Ebola. We have made enormous strides in just a few short weeks in standing up a U.S. military operation in Western Africa that can start building the kind of transport lines and supply lines to get workers, supplies, medicine, equipment into Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. And a number of the countries who are represented here are really stepping up and doing what&rsquos necessary in order for us to contain this epidemic.

But as I&rsquove said before, and I&rsquom going to keep on repeating until we start seeing more progress, the world as a whole is not doing enough. There are a number of countries that have capacity that have not yet stepped up. Those that have stepped up, all of us are going to have to do more -- because unless we contain this at the source, this is going to continue to pose a threat to individual countries at a time when there&rsquos no place that&rsquos more than a couple of air flights away. And the transmission of this disease obviously directly threats all our populations.

In addition, we have not only a humanitarian crisis in West Africa that threatens hundreds of thousands of lives, but we also have the secondary effects of destabilization, economically and politically, that could lead to more severe problems down the road.

So everybody is going to have to do more than they&rsquore doing right now. And I am reaching out directly to heads of state and government who, I believe, have the capacities to do more. I spoke yesterday with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who agrees that everybody has to do more. And I can assure everybody that the United States will continue to do its part.

With respect to Ebola here in the United States, we are surging resources into Dallas to examine what exactly has happened that ended up infecting the nurse there. Obviously, our thoughts and prayers are with her and all the courageous health care workers around the country who put themselves in challenging situations in treating this disease. We are going to make sure that all the lessons learned from Dallas are then applied to hospitals and health centers around the country.

As I&rsquove said before, we have a public health infrastructure and systems and support that make an epidemic here highly unlikely. But obviously one case is too many, and we&rsquove got to keep on doing everything we can, particularly to protect our health care workers because they&rsquore on the front lines in battling this disease. And we&rsquove also now instituted some additional screening measures, starting at JFK Airport, that will then apply to a number of other airports where we know the bulk of travelers that may have come in contact with Ebola would be coming through. We&rsquore confident that we&rsquore going to be able to put those in place in the days ahead.

But in the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with the nurse, who, like so many nurses and health care workers around the country, day in, day out do what they need to do, sometimes at some risk to themselves, in order to provide the kind of care that we all depend on. We need to eliminate those risks for them, and we&rsquore confident that we can build the protocols and make sure that they are observed carefully to avoid additional repeats of what&rsquos happened in Dallas.

But we&rsquore going to be as vigilant as we need to be in order to make sure that this disease is properly contained. The best way for us to do that, though, is also to make sure and understand that what happens in West Africa has an impact here in the United States and in all the other countries that are represented here.


Remarks by President Obama in First Session of COP21

President Obama: President Hollande, Mr. Secretary General, fellow leaders. We have come to Paris to show our resolve.

We offer our condolences to the people of France for the barbaric attacks on this beautiful city. We stand united in solidarity not only to deliver justice to the terrorist network responsible for those attacks but to protect our people and uphold the enduring values that keep us strong and keep us free. And we salute the people of Paris for insisting this crucial conference go on — an act of defiance that proves nothing will deter us from building the future we want for our children. What greater rejection of those who would tear down our world than marshaling our best efforts to save it?

Nearly 200 nations have assembled here this week — a declaration that for all the challenges we face, the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other. What should give us hope that this is a turning point, that this is the moment we finally determined we would save our planet, is the fact that our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge and a growing realization that it is within our power to do something about it.

Our understanding of the ways human beings disrupt the climate advances by the day. Fourteen of the fifteen warmest years on record have occurred since the year 2000 — and 2015 is on pace to be the warmest year of all. No nation — large or small, wealthy or poor — is immune to what this means.

This summer, I saw the effects of climate change firsthand in our northernmost state, Alaska, where the sea is already swallowing villages and eroding shorelines where permafrost thaws and the tundra burns where glaciers are melting at a pace unprecedented in modern times. And it was a preview of one possible future — a glimpse of our children’s fate if the climate keeps changing faster than our efforts to address it. Submerged countries. Abandoned cities. Fields that no longer grow. Political disruptions that trigger new conflict, and even more floods of desperate peoples seeking the sanctuary of nations not their own.

That future is not one of strong economies, nor is it one where fragile states can find their footing. That future is one that we have the power to change. Right here. Right now. But only if we rise to this moment. As one of America’s governors has said, “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and the last generation that can do something about it.”

I’ve come here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second-largest emitter, to say that the United States of America not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it.

Over the last seven years, we’ve made ambitious investments in clean energy, and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions. We’ve multiplied wind power threefold, and solar power more than twentyfold, helping create parts of America where these clean power sources are finally cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. We’ve invested in energy efficiency in every way imaginable. We’ve said no to infrastructure that would pull high-carbon fossil fuels from the ground, and we’ve said yes to the first-ever set of national standards limiting the amount of carbon pollution our power plants can release into the sky.

The advances we’ve made have helped drive our economic output to all-time highs, and drive our carbon pollution to its lowest levels in nearly two decades.

But the good news is this is not an American trend alone. Last year, the global economy grew while global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels stayed flat. And what this means can’t be overstated. We have broken the old arguments for inaction. We have proved that strong economic growth and a safer environment no longer have to conflict with one another they can work in concert with one another.

And that should give us hope. One of the enemies that we’ll be fighting at this conference is cynicism, the notion we can’t do anything about climate change. Our progress should give us hope during these two weeks — hope that is rooted in collective action.

Earlier this month in Dubai, after years of delay, the world agreed to work together to cut the super-pollutants known as HFCs. That’s progress. Already, prior to Paris, more than 180 countries representing nearly 95 percent of global emissions have put forward their own climate targets. That is progress. For our part, America is on track to reach the emissions targets that I set six years ago in Copenhagen — we will reduce our carbon emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. And that’s why, last year, I set a new target: America will reduce our emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels within 10 years from now.

So our task here in Paris is to turn these achievements into an enduring framework for human progress — not a stopgap solution, but a long-term strategy that gives the world confidence in a low-carbon future.

Here, in Paris, let’s secure an agreement that builds in ambition, where progress paves the way for regularly updated targets — targets that are not set for each of us but by each of us, taking into account the differences that each nation is facing.

Here in Paris, let’s agree to a strong system of transparency that gives each of us the confidence that all of us are meeting our commitments. And let’s make sure that the countries who don’t yet have the full capacity to report on their targets receive the support that they need.

Here in Paris, let’s reaffirm our commitment that resources will be there for countries willing to do their part to skip the dirty phase of development. And I recognize this will not be easy. It will take a commitment to innovation and the capital to continue driving down the cost of clean energy. And that’s why, this afternoon, I’ll join many of you to announce an historic joint effort to accelerate public and private clean energy innovation on a global scale.

Here in Paris, let’s also make sure that these resources flow to the countries that need help preparing for the impacts of climate change that we can no longer avoid. We know the truth that many nations have contributed little to climate change but will be the first to feel its most destructive effects. For some, particularly island nations — whose leaders I’ll meet with tomorrow — climate change is a threat to their very existence. And that’s why today, in concert with other nations, America confirms our strong and ongoing commitment to the Least Developed Countries Fund. And tomorrow, we’ll pledge new contributions to risk insurance initiatives that help vulnerable populations rebuild stronger after climate-related disasters.

And finally, here in Paris, let’s show businesses and investors that the global economy is on a firm path towards a low-carbon future. If we put the right rules and incentives in place, we’ll unleash the creative power of our best scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs to deploy clean energy technologies and the new jobs and new opportunities that they create all around the world. There are hundreds of billions of dollars ready to deploy to countries around the world if they get the signal that we mean business this time. Let’s send that signal.

That’s what we seek in these next two weeks. Not simply an agreement to roll back the pollution we put into our skies, but an agreement that helps us lift people from poverty without condemning the next generation to a planet that’s beyond its capacity to repair. Here, in Paris, we can show the world what is possible when we come together, united in common effort and by a common purpose.

And let there be no doubt, the next generation is watching what we do. Just over a week ago, I was in Malaysia, where I held a town hall with young people, and the first question I received was from a young Indonesian woman. And it wasn’t about terrorism, it wasn’t about the economy, it wasn’t about human rights. It was about climate change. And she asked whether I was optimistic about what we can achieve here in Paris, and what young people like her could do to help.

I want our actions to show her that we’re listening. I want our actions to be big enough to draw on the talents of all our people — men and women, rich and poor — I want to show her passionate, idealistic young generation that we care about their future.

For I believe, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that there is such a thing as being too late. And when it comes to climate change, that hour is almost upon us. But if we act here, if we act now, if we place our own short-term interests behind the air that our young people will breathe, and the food that they will eat, and the water that they will drink, and the hopes and dreams that sustain their lives, then we won’t be too late for them.

And, my fellow leaders, accepting this challenge will not reward us with moments of victory that are clear or quick. Our progress will be measured differently — in the suffering that is averted, and a planet that’s preserved. And that’s what’s always made this so hard. Our generation may not even live to see the full realization of what we do here. But the knowledge that the next generation will be better off for what we do here — can we imagine a more worthy reward than that? Passing that on to our children and our grandchildren, so that when they look back and they see what we did here in Paris, they can take pride in our achievement.

Let that be the common purpose here in Paris. A world that is worthy of our children. A world that is marked not by conflict, but by cooperation and not by human suffering, but by human progress. A world that’s safer, and more prosperous, and more secure, and more free than the one that we inherited.


Remarks by President Obama at the P5+1 Meeting

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here with our P5+1 partners, the European Union, and Director General Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Because of the nations that are represented here today, we achieved a historic deal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And today is an opportunity to review progress as that deal continues to be implemented.

Our work together is a key part of the comprehensive agenda that I outlined in Prague seven years ago — stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and seeking the long-term vision of a world without them. That included strengthening the global regime that prevents the spread of nuclear weapons. And one of the greatest tests of that regime was Iran’s nuclear program. After nearly two years of intensive negotiations, backed by strong sanctions, the countries represented in this room achieved what decades of animosity and rhetoric did not — a long-term deal that closes off every possible path to building a nuclear weapon, and subjects Iran to the most comprehensive nuclear inspections ever negotiated.

And thanks to this deal, we have seen real progress. Already, Iran has dismantled two-thirds of its installed centrifuges. Iran has shipped 98 percent of its enriched uranium stockpile out of Iran. Iran has removed the Arak reactor core and filled it with concrete. If Iran were to cheat, the breakout time to build a nuclear weapon has gone from two to three months to about a year.

In January, the IAEA verified that Iran had fulfilled key commitments of the deal. And today, Director General Amano will update us on implementation. Our nations have lifted nuclear-related sanctions and it will take time for Iran to reintegrate into the global economy, but Iran is already beginning to see the benefits of this deal.

I think it’s important to note that this deal does not resolve all of our differences with Iran, including destabilizing activities in the region. Except for limited exceptions, the U.S. trade embargo on Iran remains in place. And we also continue to vigorously enforce sanctions pertaining to Iran’s support for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile programs. That’s U.S. policy. But what this group — that doesn’t agree on all aspects of policy — does agree on is that this deal has achieved a substantial success, and focused on the dangers of nuclear proliferation in an effective way.

The road to this deal was not easy. It took commitment, diplomacy, hard work. It took the leaders and countries gathered around this table coming together and working out our own differences in approach. Full and continued implementation is going to take the same kind of cooperation and consultation. But I am extremely grateful to our partners in this effort.

Even as we continue to face nuclear threats around the world — which is the topic of this summit — this deal does remind us that when the international community stands as one, we can advance our common security.

So I want to thank all the leaders who are gathered here, the countries who are participating, Director General Amano. This is a success of diplomacy that hopefully we’ll be able to copy in the future.


Remarks by President Obama at ASEAN Business and Investment Summit

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you so much. (Applause.) Please be seated. Well, good morning, and thank you for welcoming me here today.
Before I begin, I want to say a few words about the appalling terrorist attack in Mali. We’re still learning the facts, but what we do know is that gunmen stormed a hotel in the capital of Bamako that was filled with citizens from a number of nations — many of whom were there to help the people of Mali build a lasting peace. The terrorists began ruthlessly killing people and taking hostages.

And so, on behalf of the American people, I want to extend our deepest condolences to the people of Mali and the victims’ families, including at least one American. These were innocent people who had everything to live for, and they will be remembered for the joy and love that they brought to the world.

And we are grateful to all those who responded and risked their own lives to save others. Malian security forces and all our own diplomatic security agents rushed in to pull people to safety. French troops and American forces who were in the country for training missions provided support, as did United Nations forces. And thanks to the swift action and skill of all involved, many people escaped and lives were saved, and the terrorists were prevented from causing even more bloodshed. But I want the American people to know that we’re still working to account for Americans who may have been at the hotel and to ensure the safety of all of our citizens in Mali.

Like the heinous attacks we saw in Paris — and attacks we see all too often elsewhere — this is another awful reminder that the scourge of terrorism threatens so many of our nations. And once again, this barbarity only stiffens our resolve to meet this challenge. We will stand with the people of Mali as they work to rid their country of terrorists and strengthen their democracy. With allies and partners, the United States will be relentless against those who target our citizens. We’ll continue to root out terrorist networks. We will not allow these killers to have a safe haven.

And as I’ve seen throughout my trip this week, nations around the world — including countries represented here today –are united in our determination to protect our people to push back on the hateful ideologies that fuel this terrorism and to stand up for the universal values of tolerance and respect for human dignity that unites us and makes us stronger than any terrorist. This is the work we must do together. This is the future that we have to build together. And that’s why I’m here today.

I want to thank everyone at the ASEAN Business Advisory Council for welcoming us. Those of you here today represent the strength and diversity of all 10 ASEAN nations. I’m pleased that we’re joined by our friends from the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council. And I especially want to thank our outstanding hosts — the government and people of Malaysia, this year’s ASEAN chair. Terima kasih banyak. (Applause.)

Now, as I mentioned before, Southeast Asia holds a special place in my heart. As a boy, I lived in Indonesia where for many years my mother dedicated herself to empowering rural women. And as President, I’ve worked to deepen America’s engagement in this region. I was proud to be the first U.S. President to meet with the leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries — (applause) — the first U.S. President to attend the East Asia Summit, and this visit marks my sixth meeting with ASEAN.

And today, ASEAN is one of the largest markets for U.S. exports, and American businesses invest more in ASEAN than any other of these regions. It’s one of the reasons that, while I’ve been in office, we’ve boosted our exports across Asia by more than 50 percent, to record levels. And I congratulate all the ASEAN nations, after many years of work, on launching the new ASEAN Community. I look forward to becoming the first U.S. President to visit Laos when it hosts ASEAN next year. (Applause.)

America’s closer ties with this region are part of a larger story. When I became President, I made a strategic decision that after a decade in which the United States had focused so heavily elsewhere, especially the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that we would rebalance our foreign policy and play a larger and long-term role here in the Asia Pacific.

I made this decision with an appreciation of history — how the United States, as a Pacific power, has been a stabilizing presence here for seven decades. And I made it with an eye on the future — because as the home of half of humanity and some of the fastest-growing markets in the world, the security and prosperity of the Asia Pacific is vital to the national interests of the United States. And deeper partnerships with our allies and partners in this region can help us meet global challenges, including terrorism.

So I put forward a vision of the future our nations can build together: A future of mutual security and peace where international law and norms are upheld and where disputes are resolved by dialogue and diplomacy. A future of open markets and trade that is free and fair. A future of freedom, where government is based on the will of the people, citizens are empowered by democratic governance and the inherent dignity and human rights of all people are upheld.

In pursuit of this vision, the United States has deepened our engagement with the region across the board. We’ve strengthened our alliances. We’ve modernized our defense posture. More U.S. forces are rotating through more parts of the region for training and exercises. We’ve expanded our cooperation with emerging powers and economies, like Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and India. We’re working to build a constructive relationship with China, where we cooperate more where our interests align, even as we candidly confront areas of disagreement.

We’ve stood up for democracy, for human rights and for development. We’ve called for a return to civilian rule in Thailand. And we’re forging new partnerships to help educate girls and young women in Cambodia. Just yesterday, I met with some extraordinary young people from our Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative — more than 55,000 young innovators who are going to shape this region for decades to come. And we’re going to sustain our engagement with the people of Myanmar. The landslide victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League of Democracy gives hope for a Burma that is inclusive and united, peaceful and democratic.

In other words, even as the United States has dealt with pressing challenges in other parts of the world, our rebalance to Asia Pacific has continued full force. And now, we’re ready to take the next step by moving ahead with the highest-standard trade agreement in history — the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (Applause.)

Four of your nations are already part of TPP — Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. Along with the United States, it also includes Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Peru and Chile. When implemented, it won’t just boost trade and support jobs in our 12 countries, it will help set stronger rules for trade across the Asia Pacific. And that’s what I want to talk about today.

I know that the politics around trade can be hard — in all of our countries. Past agreements haven’t always lived up to their promises. In recent decades, with the rise of globalization and technology, some workers, especially in developed countries, have seen their jobs exported abroad or replaced by automation. I’ve seen it in my home state of Illinois, as manufacturing plants shut down and jobs dried up over the last two decades.

And all of this has made many people skeptical of trade agreements — despite the fact that American manufacturing has added some 900,000 new jobs in the past few years, growing for the first time in more than a decade. Meanwhile, some industries that are protected from competition by subsidies or tariffs — and the political interests that represent those industries — often resist efforts to change the status quo.

So, for all these reasons, a new trade deal like TPP can be a tough sell. But the answer is not to stop trading — to try to build barriers that close any individual country off from the global economy. It’s not possible anymore. Our economies are more integrated than ever. Companies like yours rely on global supply chains. The answer is to do trade the right way — and that’s what TPP does.

I’ve been making the case for TPP to the American people, including our Congress, where I am confident we will get approval and move forward. I know there are similar debates in TPP countries here in Asia. And as business leaders, you can make your voices heard. So I’m not going to recount all the reasons why this is such a good deal. But I would encourage you to remind people back home that this trade pact is a win for all of our countries. It’s a win for our 12 TPP countries. By eliminating tens of thousands of tariffs — essentially taxes — on goods, on each other’s products, TPP removes old barriers and opens new markets.

The United States is already one of the most open economies in the world. And when the high tariffs among our TPP partners come down also, it will create new opportunities for everybody. Malaysia will be able to sell more cell phones to Mexico. Singapore can sell more medicine to Peru. Vietnam will be able to sell more leather goods to Japan. The list goes on.

TPP is a win for the United States. I’m not going to be shy about this. As President of the United States, I make no apologies for fighting to open markets to American companies and workers. And we’ve had success. U.S. exports have reached record highs, and we know that companies that export tend to grow faster, hire more employees and pay their workers more than companies that do not export. And so, by eliminating some 18,000 tariffs that other countries put on American exports, TPP levels the playing field for our workers and businesses — which means American manufacturers will be able to sell more cars and trucks, equipment and machinery. American farmers and ranchers will be able to sell more dairy, fruits, poultry and beef — and there’s no steak like an American steak. (Laughter.) You agree.

The bottom line is, Americans are ready to compete. With TPP, you’ll be seeing more products with that label we’re so proud of — “Made in America.”
And TPP is a win for the kind of trade that companies and workers in our countries need to compete in the 21st century. It makes sure that globalization is working for us, and not against us.

For example, TPP strengthens protections for intellectual property so innovations are less likely to be stolen or pirated. It encourages more trade in services, which is a larger and larger proportion of our economies and our workforces. As the first trade agreement to truly embrace the digital economy, it encourages e-commerce. It simplifies customs, which makes it easier for all companies to export, especially small and medium-sized businesses that create many of the jobs in our countries and have more difficulty navigating through a lot of bureaucracy in trying to export to other countries.

But the message I really want to deliver today is this — TPP is more than just a trade pact it also has important strategic and geopolitical benefits. TPP is a long-term investment in our shared security and in universal human rights. I want to be very clear — trade is not a panacea. It’s not a cure-all for the range of challenges our nations face. But we know from experience that when trade is done right it can help fuel progress in other areas.

Let me be specific. First, TPP will help build greater trust and cooperation among nations. We’ve long understood that trade can help bring countries and regions closer. Take the example of the post-World War II era, where the free nations of Europe set out to bind themselves together in what would become the European Union. Over many decades, the United States helped fashion the international institutions and global trading system that have stitched our economies together and helped prevent another war between major powers. There is a link between economic security and national security, and that’s at the heart of ASEAN. So TPP will help to advance the economic integration that underwrites peace and stability in this region.

Second, TPP will bind the United States even closer to some of our strongest allies in Asia. It’s no coincidence that around the world many of our treaty allies are also some of our strongest trading partners. There’s a virtuous circle — our alliances are the foundation for our security, which becomes the foundation of our prosperity, which allows us to invest in the sources of our strength, including our alliances. The United States has treaty obligations to the security of our allies, Japan and Australia, a longstanding defense relationships with New Zealand. With greater trade and ties under the TPP, we and our allies will be investing in our mutual security for generations to come.

Third, TPP will allow the United States to forge even deeper partnerships with countries that are playing a rising role in this region. Here in Malaysia, new starts-ups and investments in entrepreneurship have made this country a hub of innovation. Vietnam has one of the region’s fastest-growing economies. With greater prosperity comes greater responsibility, and both Malaysia and Vietnam are, indeed, doing more. So the United States is working with both countries to ensure maritime security, to uphold the freedom of navigation, to ensure that disputes in the region are resolved peacefully. And as they grow their economies under TPP, Malaysia and Vietnam will be able to make even greater contributions to regional security.

Fourth, TPP will allow our countries, together, to write the rules for trade in the Asia Pacific for decades to come. Our nations are more secure and more prosperous when everybody plays by the same rules. And what are those rules? We believe that economic relationships should be based not on one country simply extracting the resources of another country, but rather, as TPP envisions, economic partnerships where we encourage innovation and investment for our mutual benefit.

We believe that economic disagreements should be resolved peacefully through dialogue, not through bullying or coercion. We believe in fair competition — which is why TPP is the first trade agreement to level the playing field between private firms and state-owned enterprises. And we believe that citizens should be able to explore new ideas and innovate — which is why TPP protects the free flow of data and information across borders and commits our nations to a free and open Internet.

In this sense, with TPP, we’re not only writing the rules for trade in the Asia Pacific, we also have an historic opportunity to shape the future of the global economy. Our 12 nations comprise nearly 40 percent of global GDP, about a third of global trade. And already, a growing number of nations are expressing interest in joining TPP. If a country
— including other ASEAN countries — are prepared to meet its high standards, that’s a conversation worth having. And even countries that may never join TPP will have to compete in a TPP world, giving them an incentive to raise their standards, as well. So countries will have a choice — reform and modernize, or risk getting left behind. In this way, I believe TPP will help strengthen the hand of reformers far beyond our 12 initial members.

All of which means that, over time, TPP holds the promise of becoming an even more important driver of growth in the global economy. There are people back home in the United States that say America — at a time when you see more emerging powers, a more multipolar world — that is worried about American leadership. And sometimes I have to explain that one of the ways we’re already leading is in helping to shape something like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This is a prime example of America and our partners working together to shape the world we want for future generations.
And this is particularly important when it comes to advancing human rights and universal values, which are embedded in TPP. In the past, trade agreements often have done too little in this area. And that’s why we negotiated so hard for so long to get a trade pact that upholds our values. And we succeeded. TPP contains the highest trade standards ever negotiated. And with TPP, countries are already making binding commitments.

Every TPP country has responsibilities — and I’ll give you some specific examples. Around the world — including in America and here in the Asia Pacific — it’s still too hard for workers to form a union and protect their rights. In some countries, it’s a crime. But we know from our own history that when workers are able to come together and speak with one voice, it helps to boost wages, which improves working conditions and raises living standards. And all this progress ripples out and benefits all workers.

If workers have basic protections and decent wages, then they’re better customers for your business. I believe every worker should have basic protections and rights. So it’s in the text, in black and white — TPP countries commit to recognizing freedom of association and the right to collectively bargain — which means that, for the first time, a government like Vietnam has agreed to let its workers form independent units. And that’s progress.
Around the world, and here in the Asia Pacific, we still see abuses that are abhorrent and unacceptable, where men, women and children are sold to traffickers or tricked into forced labor. They toil, day after day, in dangerous conditions that can turn deadly. And this is not “labor” — this is akin to modern slavery. It has to stop. TPP helps fight this kind of forced labor with internationally recognized labor rights — prohibitions against forced labor against child labor against employment discrimination, including against women.

TPP requires acceptable work conditions, such as a minimum wage, fair hours of work, and workplace safety. And meanwhile, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei have committed to specific, concrete reforms to reach these high standards. Change will not happen overnight. But with TPP, hundreds of millions of workers will now be covered by higher, enforceable labor standards. That is progress.

Around the world, and here in the Asia Pacific, the cancer of corruption is a daily indignity. Having to pay a bribe just to start a business or go to school or get a job steals money from workers and families and businesses — and it is a violation of human rights, and it is a bad strategy for development. Corruption drains billions of dollars that could be used to improve the lives of citizens. Imagine the schools and hospitals and roads and bridges that could be built with that money — investments that would make countries more competitive and more prosperous.

And that’s why TPP includes the strongest anti-corruption and transparency standards of any trade agreement in history. (Applause.) It requires countries to have laws against corruption — including making it a crime to bribe a public official — and it requires countries to enforce those laws. So TPP encourages rule of law and stronger, more effective and more accountable governance. That is progress. (Applause.)

Around the world, including in the United States, and here in the Asia Pacific, rising economic inequality holds back economies and undermines the cohesiveness of our societies and our political systems. Globally, countless millions barely survive on one U.S. dollar and 25 cents a day. That’s an affront to human dignity. I’ve made combating economic inequality and creating more opportunity for my fellow Americans a focus of my presidency. And the world recently committed to new Sustainable Development Goals, so that we can continue to push to eradicate the injustice of extreme poverty.
One of the best ways to do that is with economic growth that is broad-based and inclusive — that lifts up the many and raises living standards — and by helping developing nations sell more of their goods to the world. That’s what TPP does. It’s designed to help promote development that is sustainable, that improves food security and that reduces poverty. And that is progress.
And around the world, as well as here in the Asia Pacific, economic progress has too often come at the expense of the environment. For too long, the myth persisted that we had to choose between the two. But facts don’t lie.

In the United States, we have cleaner air and cleaner water compared to decades ago, even as our economy has grown several times over. The international community took steps to repair the ozone layer even as global growth lifted millions of people from poverty into the middle class. We have proven that we can grow our economies and protect our planet. And that’s why TPP includes the strongest environmental standards in history — specific provisions to combat wildlife trafficking, illegal logging that worsens deforestation, illegal fishing that endangers our oceans and our fisheries.

The reforms and changes I’ve described won’t happen overnight. TPP has to be adopted it has to be implemented. Countries and companies will be adapting to these new standards and these new reforms. And it’s going to take time. We’re ready to partner with all of them and help them as they up their game. And this brings me to another way that TPP is different and better than many past agreements. The standards we’ve described — that I’ve described are actually enforceable. TPP has teeth, strong provisions for monitoring. And we’re going to be vigilant to make sure countries fulfill their commitments. If they don’t, we will take action. If a TPP country violates their responsibilities, there are consequences and real penalties. For the sake of our workers and their families and the hopes they have for the future, we’ve got to make sure that we’re delivering on the promises that we’re making today.

So the bottom line is that, as significant as it is, the Trans-Pacific Partnership represents more than just the additional goods we’ll trade, or even the new economic partnerships that we’ll forge and the jobs it will support. TPP sends a powerful message across this region — across the Asia Pacific. It says that America’s foreign policy rebalance to the Asia Pacific will continue on every front. It says that the United States will keep its commitments to allies and partners, and that we are here to stay and that you can count on us.
And TPP says, most of all, that Americans and people across this region stand together for a shared vision of a future that is more peaceful and more secure and that upholds the universal rights of every human being.

This is about the father, the mother, the children, crammed onto factory floors who deserve their dignity and humane working conditions. It’s about the farmers who want to sell more of their crops and boost their incomes. It’s about the workers on the assembly line who are ready to build more cars because new markets await. And it’s about companies like yours — but also the small business owner who’s ready to export more products and hire more workers, and the entrepreneur who believes that her new idea could be the spark that ignites a new industry or changes the world.

That’s the progress — the opportunity, the growth, the innovations — that we can unleash. That’s why I’m so optimistic about our shared future. That’s why I’m grateful for our work together. That’s why the nations and people of this region will always have a friend and partner in the United States of America.


Remarks by President Obama in Meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I want to welcome all the leaders and trade ministers who are here. This marks our first gathering at the leaders level since our 12 countries agreed on the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership. We were able to complete the negotiations thanks to the commitment of the leaders here. And I thank each of you, but I think it’s also appropriate for us to thank our trade ministers and their teams who engaged in extraordinary work in some very challenging negotiations across a wide range of issues. All of you did an outstanding job.

TPP is at the heart of our shared vision for the future of this dynamic region. We want all countries to pursue their interests and prosperity peacefully, based on common rules of the road on an open, level playing field — a fair trade. And our countries comprise nearly 40 percent of global GDP, and some one-third of global trade. So this isn’t about boosting exports between our countries in the Asia Pacific. The TPP is also helping to write the rules of global trade for the 21st century.

This is the highest standard and most progressive trade deal ever concluded. It includes strong protections for workers, prohibitions against child labor and forced labor. It has provisions to protect the environment, to help stop wildlife trafficking, to protect our oceans. These are enforceable provisions that can be brought to bear much as the same way any provisions related to tariffs can be dealt with. And as a consequence, this is not only a good deal economically it also reflects our common values.

The TPP includes countries large and small, developed and developing. But we have a shared vision of how to move forward. Today, we’re going to discuss the road ahead to ensure that TPP is enacted in each of our countries as swiftly as possible. Obviously, execution is critical after we have arrived at the text.

And I just want to once again commend all the leaders here for their extraordinary leadership. This is not easy to do. The politics of any trade agreement are difficult. The fact that everyone here has stepped up and made some hard decisions that are going to pay off for decades to come I think is testimony to the vision that was reflected. And I want to congratulate all of you for outstanding work.

Thank you very much, everybody. With that, we’re going to do a little work.


Remarks by President Obama, President Tusk of the European Council and President Juncker of the European Commission after U.S.-EU Meeting

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good morning, everybody. Let me begin by thanking Presidents Tusk and Juncker for the opportunity to meet today. With your understanding, I want to begin with a few words about the situation back in the United States, specifically the situation in Dallas, Texas.

My team has been keeping me updated throughout the morning of the evening in Dallas. I spoke this morning with Mayor Rawlings of Dallas to convey the deepest condolences of the American people. I told him that the federal government will provide whatever assistance Dallas may need as it deals with this tremendous tragedy.

We still don’t know all the facts. What we do know is that there has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement. Police in Dallas were on duty, doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protests. These law enforcement officers were targeted, and nearly a dozen officers were shot. Five were killed. Other officers and at least one civilian were wounded — some are in serious condition, and we are praying for their recovery.

As I told Mayor Rawlings, I believe that I speak for every single American when I say that we are horrified over these events, and that we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas. According to police, there are multiple suspects. We will learn more, undoubtedly, about their twisted motivations. But let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement. The FBI is already in touch with the Dallas police, and anyone involved in these senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done.

I will have more to say about this as the facts become more clear. For now, let me just say that even as yesterday I spoke about our need to be concerned, as all Americans, about racial disparities in our criminal justice system, I also said yesterday that our police have an extraordinarily difficult job and the vast majority of them do their job in outstanding fashion. I also indicated the degree to which we need to be supportive of those officers who do their job each and every day, protecting us and protecting our communities.

Today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices that they make for us. We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic. And in the days ahead, we’re going to have to consider those realities as well.

In the meantime, today our focus is on the victims and their families. They are heartbroken. The entire city of Dallas is grieving. Police across America, which is a tight-knit family, feels this loss to their core. And we’re grieving with them. I’d ask all Americans to say a prayer for these officers and their families. Keep them in your thoughts. And as a nation, let’s remember to express our profound gratitude to our men and women in blue — not just today, but every day.

With that, I want to thank Presidents Tusk and Juncker for our work here today in Warsaw. I’ve worked with Donald in his previous capacity as prime minister here in Poland, and I’ve appreciated this chance to work with Jean-Claude.

Our meeting comes — as I think everybody is aware — at a critical moment for the European Union. The vote in the United Kingdom to leave the EU has created uncertainty about the future of European integration. And unfortunately, this has led some to suggest that the entire edifice of European security and prosperity is crumbling. There have been those who have been questioning what does this mean for the transatlantic relationship. Let me just say, as is often the case in moments of change, this kind of hyperbole is misplaced. I want to take the opportunity to reaffirm some basic points that bear repeating.

First, based on my recent discussions with Prime Minister Cameron, Chancellor Merkel and now here today, I am absolutely confident that the UK and the European Union will work together in a pragmatic and cooperative fashion to ensure that the UK’s transition is orderly and smooth. No one has an interest in protracted, adversarial negotiations. Everybody has an interest in minimizing any disruptions as the UK and the EU forge a new relationship.

Second, even as we face the difficulties of this moment, we cannot lose sight of the extraordinary achievement the European integration continues to be — more than 500 million people speaking 24 different official languages in more than two dozen countries, 19 with a common currency. Every member of the EU is a democracy. No EU country has ever raised arms against another. An integrated Europe is one of the greatest political and economic achievements of modern times, and this is an achievement that has to be preserved.

Third, and for all the reasons I just mentioned, the United States has a strong and enduring interest in a united, democratic Europe. We’re bound together by ties of history, family and our common values — our commitment to democracy, pluralism, human dignity. Our economies are deeply woven together, with the largest trade and investment relationship in the world. The security of America and Europe is indivisible, and that’s why, for nearly 70 years, the United States has been a staunch champion of European integration — and we will remain so.

Fourth, given our shared interests, Europe will remain a cornerstone of America’s engagement with the world. European countries are and will remain among our closest allies and friends, and Europe is an indispensable partner around the globe. Indeed, even as we manage the implications of Brexit, our work today shows that we’re going to continue to be focused on pressing global challenges.

We agree that the United States and the EU can do more together for our shared security. And we’ll keep working to provide each other information to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters and prevent terrorist attacks, and we will do so in a way that continues to protect privacy and civil liberties. As the global coalition pushes ISIL back on the ground in Syria and Iraq, the EU has pledged critical financial assistance to help shore up the Iraqi economy and stabilize liberated communities. And as NATO nations affirm their commitment to Afghanistan’s security, I want to commend, once again, the EU for taking the lead in mobilizing international assistance for development in Afghanistan.

Here in Europe, we’ll continue to support Ukraine as it undertakes important political and economic reforms. The U.S. and the EU are united in our commitment to maintaining sanctions on Russia until they fully implement its obligations under the Minsk agreements. And with Presidents Tusk and Juncker, set to attend today’s North Atlantic Council meeting, we have an opportunity to deepen security cooperation between NATO and the EU.

We also agree that, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have to address economic frustrations and anxieties of many of our people, feelings that undoubtedly contributed to the Brexit vote — fears that they’re being left behind by globalization and economic integration. Our governments, including the EU, cannot be remote institutions they have to be responsive and move more quickly, with minimal bureaucracy, to deliver real economic progress in the lives of ordinary people.

In particular, we discussed the importance of public investments — like infrastructure, education, innovation and security — to stimulate growth and job training to help reduce inequality and unemployment, especially for young people here in Europe. That’s been the right thing to do for years, both for the long term and the short term. But at a time when heightened uncertainty in the global economy is potentially amplifying the headwinds that we all face, these policies make even more sense today.

We’re going to keep working to help Europe enhance its energy security with more diverse and resilient supplies, including from the United States. And while we are mindful of the challenges, we are going to continue to pursue a Transalantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or T-TIP, to help sustain jobs and growth in all of our countries and to help reinforce the larger transatlantic relationship.

And finally, we’re stepping up to cooperate on global challenges. And I want to take this opportunity to commend the EU for the generosity and compassion that so many EU countries have shown desperate migrants — men, women and children — who have fled to Europe. We believe NATO can do more to support EU naval operations in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas to prevent the exploitation of migrants. I expect the EU to play a major role at our refugee summit this fall at the United Nations, where we aim to secure new contributions to address the global refugee crisis.

And with respect to the threat of climate change, we look forward to all EU countries ratifying the Paris agreement and to the EU joining it. We continue to see the EU as one of our strongest partners in reducing emissions, phasing out dangerous HFCs and investing in clean energy.

So, again, I want to thank Donald and Jean-Claude for our work together. Despite the challenge of this moment, I’m pleased to see that the United States and the EU continue to deepen our partnership. The world needs a strong, prosperous, democratic and united Europe. And in that cause, you will always have a strong and steady partner in the United States of America.

PRESIDENT TUSK: Before anything else, I want to say that I am deeply sorry about what has happened in Dallas. We are with you in this, as well as with the families and loved ones of the victims. And sorry again.

This is my third and also my last meeting in Warsaw with Barack Obama as President of the United States of America. But I believe we will see each other again here in Poland, perhaps in less official roles. And, Barack, you know that you will always be here the most welcome guest. You know this, I’m sure.

Over many years, we have worked together to strengthen the relations between Europe and the United States. Today, the need for such effort is even more visible. I remember 27 years ago, it was in my hometown of Gdańsk, when members of Solidarity welcomed George Bush senior outside of the famous gate of the Gdańsk shipyards. And we were chanting, “Nie ma wolności bez solidarności,” which means “there is no freedom without solidarity.” We already knew then that our newly gained freedom would require defense and guarantees, which, in a global dimension, implies the closest possible cooperation between Europe and the United States.

Today, we can repeat that phrase with only a small change — it has preserved its meaning. There is no freedom in Europe without Atlantic solidarity. Caring for the unity of the whole political community of the West is key. Whether we are discussing the referendum in the United Kingdom, the situation in Ukraine, or our future trade deals, we realize how much effort and how many new arguments we need to prevent political entropy and disintegration.

We know that the geopolitical consequences of Brexit may be very serious. Maintaining the closest possible relations between the EU and the UK is in European and American interest. But it is equally important to send today a strong message to the whole world that Brexit, as sad and meaningful as it is, is just an incident and not the beginning of a process. And to all our opponents, on the inside and out, who are hoping for a sequel to Brexit, I want to say loud and clear, you won’t see on the screen the words “To be continued.”

There’s no good alternative to transatlantic cooperation. All those who value our fundamental principles of freedom, the rule of law, democracy, human and civil rights must act in favor of this cooperation. This is the essence of our tie between America, known as the New World, and Europe, known as the Old Continent. We know, however, that besides the old world and the new world, there’s also a world apart, with different values and different strategic ends. And it has allies also in the USA, in Europe, and here in Poland.

In public debates in Washington, London, Berlin, Paris, and Warsaw, we hear anti-democratic slogans more and more, calling for national egoism, isolationism, Euroscepticism. It would be good if we clearly stated today that whoever turns against America harms Europe. Whoever attacks the European Union harms America. And whoever undermines the foundations of liberal democracy harms one and the other.

We have been building liberal democracy with determination on both sides of the Atlantic. We have followed the lessons of the same scholars. We have been inspired by the same political philosophies. We must now protect this heritage, both rich and, indeed, surprisingly fresh. What comes to my mind on this occasion is a quote by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America: “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

PRESIDENT JUNCKER: Good morning. I would like to express my sympathy to the President of the United States and to the people of this great nation for the tragic events which happened yesterday night in Dallas, Texas. These events, like others, are proving and showing that we are living in a world which is developing increasingly to more complexity and to more uncertainty. The threats to our security takes many forms, and they are not located in any one place.

Therefore, our first duty is to show unity and reaffirm the values we share — human rights, freedom, democracy, and the keystone on which the others rest: the rule of law. They go to the core of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance, and they make us who we are and they guarantee our way of life.

The United States, NATO, and the European Union are central pillars of the global order. We complement each other, and together provide peace and stability in Europe, our neighborhood, and beyond. Our combined strengths remains formidable, but still, we can work more closely together, and that is why we are here today.

We were discussing, in the course of this morning’s meeting, the consequences entailed by the vote of the British people to leave the European Union. I would like to repeat here what we had said in Brussels the other day — that we cannot start negotiations until the British authorities will have notified, under the regime of Article 50, their intention to leave the European Union. But then we have to engage in negotiations. And I’m not doing this — how can I say, a hostile mood — I do think that even after the referendum, the European Union and the United Kingdom share a community of interests, not only in the defense and the military sector, but in all the relevant sectors of the international life — mainly as far as trade is concerned.

But if a country wants to have free access to the entire market, it’s for sure that this country has to respect the four basic freedoms, including the one of the freedom of movement for workers. But we’ll have these negotiations with our British friends. And I do think that it’s in our interest and in the global interest to keep Britain as a strong ally anyway in NATO and as a strong partner when it comes to the relations of this then third country with the European Union.

As time is running out, Barack, I will stop here — not without having said that we were discussing the T-TIP issue and that we want to conclude these negotiations before the end of this year, mainly as far as the big blocks of this negotiation are concerned. You will ask the European Council, I was asking leaders one after the other if yes or no, the European Union should continue to negotiate, and we received once again the mandate to conclude these negotiations.

Thanks so much, also for what — for your leadership during the last years. Thank you, Barack.


MR. McNERNEY: Mr. President, few forums are watched more closely by those of us in the business community than APEC — testimony to the extraordinary opportunity it represents for both sides of the Pacific Rim.

As you know, APEC accounts for 55 percent of global GDP and is growing faster than the global average — significantly faster. It represents 2.7 billion consumers, and purchases 58 percent of U.S. exports. So I’m honored, very honored, to represent many of the wide-ranging interests of the business community on stage with you today.

Unlocking the growth potential that exists within APEC is a huge opportunity for job creation here in the United States and for our economic partners. Secretary Clinton spoke about that yesterday within the context of greater engagement of women and small business, for example. (Applause.)

Given that you represent — and I’m working my way up to a question here. Given that you represent the largest economy in the group, your views on subjects pertinent to that growth potential are vital, and that’s what I’d like to explore with you here this morning.

Just to start at 50,000 feet, you just participated in the G20 meeting last week, where global growth was a — and threats thereof was a central topic of discussion. With the benefit of the viewpoints exchanged at the G20 session, what now is your outlook for the global economy, and maybe with just an eye toward its impact on the APEC economies?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, Jim, thank you for having me here. Thanks to all the business leaders who are participating. I understand that there have been some terrific conversations over the last couple of days.

I want to thank our Hawaiian hosts for the great hospitality. (Applause.) As many of you know, this is my birthplace. I know that was contested for a while — (laughter and applause) — but I can actually show you the hospital if you want to go down there. (Laughter.) And I also have to make mention, first of all, that in all my years of living in Hawaii and visiting Hawaii, this is the first time that I’ve ever worn a suit. (Laughter.) So it feels a little odd.

Obviously we have just gone through the worst financial crisis and the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. And one of the differences between now and the ‘30s is that the global economy is more integrated than ever, and so what happens in Asia has an impact here in the United States what happens in Europe has an impact on Asia and the United States.

At the G20 meeting, our most immediate task was looking at what’s happening in the eurozone. And if you trace what’s happened over the last two to three years, we were able to stabilize the world economy after the crisis with Lehman’s and get the world financial system working again. We were able to get the economy growing again. But it has not been growing as robustly as it needs to in order to put people back to work. And my number-one priority has been to not only grow the economy but also make sure that that translates into opportunities for ordinary people. And I think leaders from around the world are thinking the same way.

I was pleased to see that European leaders were taking seriously the need to not just solve the Greek crisis, but also to solve the broader eurozone crisis. There have been some positive developments over the last week: a new potential government in Italy, a new government in Greece — both committed to applying the sort internal structural reform that can give markets more confidence.

There is still work to be done in the broader European community, to provide markets a strong assurance that countries like Italy will be able to finance their debt. These are economies that are large. They are economies that are strong. But they have some issues that the markets are concerned about. And that has to be addressed inside of Italy, but it’s not going to be addressed overnight. So it’s important that Europe as a whole stands behind its eurozone members. And we have tried to be as supportive as we can, providing them some advice and technical assistance.

I think that we’re not going to see massive growth out of Europe until the problem is resolved. And that will have a dampening effect on the overall global economy. But if we can at least contain the crisis, then one of the great opportunities we have is to see the Asia Pacific region as an extraordinary engine for growth.

And part of the reason that we’re here at APEC is to concentrate on what you just identified as about half of the world’s trade, half of the world’s GDP, and a growing share. And so the whole goal of APEC is to ensure that we are reducing barriers to trade and investment that can translate into concrete jobs here in the United States and all around the world.

If we’re going to grow it’s going to be because of exports it’s going to be because of the great work that companies like Boeing is doing it’s going to be because we’ve got high standard trade agreements that are creating win-win situations for countries, the way we were able to do bilaterally with South Korea just recently. And if we can stay on that trajectory, letting this region of the world know that America is a Pacific power and we intend to be here, actively engaged in trying to boost the economy worldwide and for our respective countries, then I am cautiously optimistic that we’ll get through this current crisis and will come out stronger over the next couple of years.

MR. McNERNEY: Fixing Europe obviously a priority, but the growth is here for now. Although as I’ve traveled around the Asia Pacific region, I and others have detected a slight sense of unease and uncertainty among government and business leaders around whether the U.S. intends to maintain its role in helping to ensure the political, economic stability of this region, other forms of stability, including the free flow of communication and commerce. I do know that Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary Panetta recently delivered some very reassuring remarks, which I’m sure didn’t happen by accident. But I think your view on that, on this subject, is of great interest not only to the business community but to the community at large here in the region.

And so, how does Asia fit as a priority for our country? And where is its place — in a multifaceted way, not just business — in the Asia Pacific region?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The United States is a Pacific power and we are here to stay. And one of the messages that Secretary Clinton, Secretary Panetta have been delivering, but I am personally here to deliver over the next week, is that there’s no region in the world that we consider more vital than the Asia Pacific region, and we want, on a whole range of issues, to be working with our partner countries around the Pacific Rim in order to enhance job growth, economic growth, prosperity and security for all of us.

And let me just give you a couple of examples. The APEC conference that we’re hosting here is going to have some very concrete deliverables around issues like regulatory convergence, which permits countries to all think about whether our regulations are as efficient, as effective as they can be, or where are they standing in the way of smart trade.

I’ll be traveling to Australia to celebrate the 60th year of the American-Australian alliance, and that will signify the security infrastructure that allows for the free flow of trade and commerce throughout the region.

The TPP — the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that I just met with the countries who are involved, we’re doing some outstanding work trying to create a high-level trade agreement that could potentially be a model not just for countries in the Pacific region but for the world generally.

And so, across the board, whether it’s on security architecture, whether it’s on trade, whether it’s on commerce, we are going to continue to prioritize this region. And one of the gratifying things is that, as we talk to our partners in the region, they welcome U.S. reengagement. I think we spent a decade in which, understandably, after 9/11, we were very focused on security issues, particularly in the Middle East region. And those continue to be important. But we’ve turned our attention back to the Asia Pacific region, and I think that it’s paying off immediately in a whole range of improved relations with countries, and businesses are starting to see more opportunities as a consequence.

MR. McNERNEY: You know, I don’t think the business community has fully understood the comprehensiveness of your approach out here, and I think — because it all does link together — security, business environment, bilateral trade facilitation — all these things really do link together. And I think Secretary Clinton has made a very comprehensive case for it — we’ve seen in some of her published work and some of her speeches. So this looks like –I wouldn’t say a major new direction, but it is something that is a major priority for you over the next number of years, is — am I capturing it right?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: There’s no doubt. It is a reaffirmation of how important we consider this region. It has a range of components. Now, some of those are grounded in decade-long alliances. The alliance we have with Japan and South Korea, the alliance we have with Australia — the security architecture of the region is something that we pay a lot of attention to. And we’re going to be going through some tough fiscal decisions back home, but nevertheless, what I’ve said when it comes to prioritizing our security posture here in this region, this has to continue to remain a top priority.

And on the business side, this is where the action is going to be. If we’re going to not just double our exports but make sure that good jobs are created here in the United States, then we’re going to have to continue to expand our trade opportunities and economic integration with the fastest-growing region in the world.

And that means, in some cases, some hard negotiations and some tough work, as we went through in South Korea. I think that was a great model of prioritizing trade with a key partner. It wasn’t easy. I said at the outset that I wanted — I had no problem seeing Hyundais and Kias here in the United States, but I wanted to see some Chevrolets and Fords in Seoul. And after a lot of work and some dedicated attention from President Lee, we were able to get a deal that for the first time was endorsed not just by the business community but also was endorsed by the United Auto Workers and a number of labor leaders. And that shows how we can build a bipartisan support for job creation in the United States and trade agreements that make sense. (Applause.)

MR. McNERNEY: You referenced Korea and Colombia, Panama — big, strong, pro-trade votes. I mean, it was a major legislative accomplishment. And the momentum that Ambassador Kirk talks about flowing into the Trans-Pacific Partnership — just let’s spend a minute on that. You raised it earlier. Do you see other APEC countries joining — the obvious question is Japan? And how significant is the TPP for this region of the world and for the United States? Is there anything else you’d like to say about it?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, keep in mind that almost two decades ago when APEC was formed, the notion was to create a trans-Pacific free trade agreement. Obviously the membership of APEC is extraordinarily diverse. It reflects countries with different levels of development. And so for many years that vision, that dream I think seemed very far off in the distance.

What happened was, is a group, a subset of APEC countries came together and said let’s see if we can create a high-standard agreement that is dealing with tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade, but let’s also incorporate a whole range of new trade issues that are going to be coming up in the future — innovation, regulatory convergence, how we’re thinking about the Internet and intellectual property.

And so what we’ve seen — and we just came from a meeting in which the TPP members affirmed a basic outline and our goal is, by next year, to get the legal text for a full agreement. The idea here is to have a trade agreement that deals not just with past issues but also future issues. And if we’re successful, then I think it becomes the seed of a broader set of agreements. And what’s been really interesting is how, because of the success of these first few countries joining together, we’re now seeing others like Japan expressing an interest in joining. And I’ll have a meeting with Prime Minister Noda later this afternoon and I’ll get a sense from him about the degree to which Japan wants to go through the difficult process involved.

And I don’t underestimate the difficulties of this because each member country has particular sensitivities, political barriers. It requires adjustments within these countries where certain industries or certain producers may push back. For Japan, for example, in the agricultural sector, that’s going to be a tough issue for them.

But we’re not going to delay. Our goal is to try to get something done by next year. And our hope is, is that if we can model this kind of outstanding trade agreement, then, potentially, you see a lot of others joining in.

MR. McNERNEY: Sounds like real momentum.

MR. McNERNEY: Sounds like real momentum.

You know, another issue, just shifting gears slightly, same kind of subject — Russia, pending ascension to the WTO. And as you know, Russia will host APEC in 2012. Assuming that the WTO process is successfully concluded, what kind of opportunities do you see as they try to integrate further into the global economy, become more Asia-facing themselves in the process? I mean, there is a clear agenda there for them as they’ve try to upgrade their economy. But there is a reason that you’re making this happen, that you’re going after WTO. And so maybe give us a few words on the benefits of it all.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, we’ve had a excellent working relationship with President Medvedev. The United States and Russia obviously have a whole range of differences on a whole range of issues, but we also have some common interests. And I believe it is very much in the United States’ interest to see Russia in the WTO. Not only will it provide greater opportunities for U.S. businesses in Russia, but it also will create a even stronger incentive for Russia to proceed down a course of reforms that will be good for the Russian people, but will also integrate them with the world economy.

For the United States, I think a message that applies not only to the TPP but also to Russia, is the U.S. will do well if everybody is playing by the rules. I believe we’ve got some of the best entrepreneurs, businesses, universities. We have a system that has some flaws, but overall we have extraordinary transparency. We have a legal system that protects intellectual property. We are at the cutting edge of the information technology boom. And so if we can create a system in which everybody is playing by a common set of rules, everybody knows what those rules are, then I think U.S. workers and U.S. businesses are going to excel.

There’s not reason why globalization should be something we fear. It’s something that we should be able to excel at as long as everybody is in agreement about how we proceed. And so, whether it’s in the WTO, whether it’s in the TPP, whether it’s in forums like APEC, my message to all our trading partners, to other countries, is: If you are playing by the rules, then America is ready to do business. And we will remain open we will fight against protectionist measures. But we are also going to be pushing hard to make sure that you are not engaging in gaming the system. And we want strong enforcement of these international norms and rules. We think that will be to everybody’s benefit over the long term.

MR. McNERNEY: Agree. And many of us have, I should say, benefited from the steadfastness that many in your Cabinet have shown in supporting this, the enforcement side of the WTO. We appreciate it.

China. You will be meeting here with China’s senior leadership, and many of us in the business world face a common dilemma with China that perhaps you do at your level. We see a world where our interests lay in both competing with China, on one hand, in global markets and within their marketplace, and also engaging with China for access to its market, on the other. Yet, challenges abound, and you alluded to a lot of them just a minute ago — intellectual property protections, adherence to the WTO, rules you mentioned, currency debate, drilling rights, et cetera. There’s a long list.

But against the backdrop, will you be getting into specifics this week in your discussions? And how would you assess the U.S.-China relationship when voices now, on both the left and the right, are calling for a harder line from your administration? Tough to navigate.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, I think that we have created a frank dialogue with the Chinese over the last two years that has benefited both countries. And my general view is that there can be a friendly and constructive competition between the United States and China, and a whole range of areas where we share common interests and we should be able to cooperate.

We should be rooting for China to grow, because not only does that then present an enormous marketplace for American businesses and American exports, but to see so many millions of people, hundreds of millions of people, lifted out of poverty is a remarkable achievement. And so whether it’s China, whether it’s India, these emerging countries, what they’re accomplishing in a few short decades — alleviating poverty, helping ordinary people all around the world get access to opportunity — that’s a wonderful thing that we should be rooting for. And those are potential customers for us in the future.

But what I’ve said since I first came into office, and what we’ve exhibited in terms of our interactions with the Chinese, is we want you to play by the rules. And currency is probably a good example. There are very few economists who do not believe that the RMB is not undervalued. And that makes exports to China more expensive, and it makes exports from China cheaper. That disadvantages American business it disadvantages American workers.

And we have said to them that this is something that has to change — and, by the way, it would actually be good for China’s economy if they refocused on their domestic market, that that kind of appreciation of their currency would help the overall balance of payments globally and it would increase growth in China and increase growth here in the United States.

Intellectual property. I don’t think it’s any secret — Jim, you talked to a lot of CEOs and probably a lot of folks in this room — for an economy like the United States, where our biggest competitive advantage is our knowledge, our innovation, our patents, our copyrights — for us not to get the kind of protection that we need in a large marketplace like China is not acceptable.

Government procurement — if we are allowing foreign countries to bid on projects in the United States of America, we want reciprocity. State-owned enterprises, how they work — all these issues I think have to be resolved. Some of them can be resolved in multilateral forums. Some of them will have to be resolved bilaterally. I am sympathetic to the fact that there are a lot of people in China who are still impoverished and there’s a rapid pace of urbanization that’s taking place there that Chinese leaders have to work through. But the bottom line is, is that the United States can’t be expected to stand by if there’s not the kind reciprocity in our trade relations and our economic relationships that we need.

So this is an issue that I’ve brought up with President Hu in the past. We will continue to bring it up. There is no reason why it inevitably leads to sharp conflict. I think there is a win-win opportunity there, but we’ve got to keep on working diligently to get there. And in the meantime, where we see rules being broken, we’ll speak out and, in some cases, we will take action.

We’ve brought more enforcement actions against China over the last couple of years than had taken place in many of the preceding years, not because we’re looking for conflict, but simply because we want to make sure that the interests of American workers and American businesses are protected.

MR. McNERNEY: I think one related question, looking at the world from the Chinese side, is what they would characterize as impediments to investment in the United States. And so that discussion I’m sure will be part of whatever dialogue you have. And so how are you thinking about that?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, this is an issue, generally. I think it’s important to remember that the United States is still the largest recipient of foreign investment in the world. And there are a lot of things that make foreign investors see the U.S. as a great opportunity — our stability, our openness, our innovative free market culture.

But we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted — well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America. And so one of things that my administration has done is set up something called SelectUSA that organizes all the government agencies to work with state and local governments where they’re seeking assistance from us, to go out there and make it easier for foreign investors to build a plant in the United States and put outstanding U.S. workers back to work in the United States of America.

And we think that we can do much better than we’re doing right now. Because of our federalist system, sometimes a foreign investor comes in and they’ve got to navigate not only federal rules, but they’ve also got to navigate state and local governments that may have their own sets of interests. Being able to create if not a one-stop shop, then at least no more than a couple of stops for people to be able to come into the United States and make investments, that’s something that we want to encourage.

MR. McNERNEY: And I’m old enough to remember this process around Japanese automotive companies, 20 or 30 years ago. And the process moved slowly then, it had some of the similar dynamics, but some of those companies are very, very fine “American companies,” and have contributed a lot to our economy.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And, look, these companies can put people back to work. They can have a terrific impact. And it’s important for us to make sure that, since we want American companies to be able to invest in other countries, that we also show some openness to their investments here.

One thing I want to mention, Jim, that I think is important — I mentioned that we’re on track to double our exports, a goal that I set when I first came into office. Part of the reason for that is because of some terrific work that’s been done by our Export/Import Bank. We’ve substantially increased the amount of financing that we’re providing to companies. I think Boeing appreciates the good work that —

MR. McNERNEY: Upon occasion, we’re at the teller window. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: On occasion, yes. But one of the things that I wanted to mention is we’re starting to focus on how we can get small and medium-sized businesses plugged into the global economy as well.

Somebody mentioned earlier that I think Secretary Clinton had talked about women-owned businesses. Well, a lot of women-owned businesses are smaller businesses and medium-sized businesses. And they may have great products, but they may not have the infrastructure to be able to navigate a whole bunch of other countries’ customs and regulatory impediments. And so for us to be a champion not only of financing but also making it easier for them to enter into the global marketplace is something that we want to focus on.

MR. McNERNEY: That program is a big deal. And I see it from a Boeing perspective — a lot of our suppliers are tapping into it, and it’s going to make a difference.

Speaking of exports, as chairman of your Export Council, I’ve had the privilege of working with you and members of your Cabinet to pave the way to meet your goal of doubling exports. Priorities have been FTAs, intellectual property rights protection, export credit financing, technology release — which you haven’t commented on, but you’ve made some progress on — and business and tourist visa processes — and you know the list.

What’s your assessment of how we’re doing?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You guys are doing great. And I want to thank all the members of the Export Council. They’ve been giving us some terrific ideas. Some of them are modest, but they make a difference. Backstage before we came out, I just signed a piece of legislation that was voted on unanimously out of Congress that essentially sets up a APEC business gold card, a travel card that allows businesses to be able to — (applause.) Everybody here appreciates it because they’re not going to have to wait in line as long at the airport. (Laughter.) So that generated a lot of popularity.

But that’s an idea that came out of the Business Council that we’ve been able to execute. And we’re going to keep on trying to pursue every avenue that we have to see how we can ease and smooth the ability of doing business with the United States and U.S. businesses being able to operate overseas.

And some of that has to do with us changing our own internal operations. For the business leaders who are here, there’s been a lot of commentary about regulations and my administration’s approach to regulations. And, frankly, there have been some misconceptions, particularly in the business press. And so let me just comment on this.

I make no apologies for wanting to make sure that we’ve got regulations that protect consumers from unfair practices or shoddy products, that protect the help of our kids here in the U.S., that make sure that our air and water is clean. (Applause.) But I think it’s really important to know that over the first two years of the Obama administration, we’ve actually issued fewer new regulations than the previous two administrations that we’ve applied, for the most part, a rigorous cost benefit, and we have seen a lot more benefit for every dollar that our regulations cost than previous administrations.

And this is where it’s relevant to the export issue — one of the things we’re also doing is engaging in what we call a regulatory look-back, where we’ve asked all the agencies that are under the Executive Branch control, but also independent agencies that voluntarily been willing to look at every regulation that’s on the book, with a simple question: Is this helping to grow the economy, create jobs, and is it doing a good job in this 21st century of protecting the health and welfare of the public and consumers?

And if a rule isn’t working anymore, we want to get rid of it. If a rule could be done cheaper and faster, then we want to hear about it. And our relationship with the Business Council is a great example of where you’ve given us some suggestions where you said, you know what, this rule — we understand what you were trying to do, but it’s actually creating a lot of unnecessary costs, and here’s a way to do it that would meet your objective but do it in a much more efficient, effective way. We are eager for that kind of input, and that’s the kind of relationship with the business community we want to establish.

MR. McNERNEY: And we will respond to that, and I appreciate those comments.

Another place is export controls, where your administration — at least as someone who deals in that world a lot, particularly in this region, where it becomes much more of a sticking point doing commerce than you’d imagine if you have any technology in your products — where I think your administration has made more of an effort than any administration in recent memory. And can you give us an update on that?

MR. McNERNEY: Because there’s been some progress recently.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: For those of you who may not be fully familiar with this issue — because we have such a terrific advantage in high-technology areas — in cutting-edge advance manufacturing or the work that we’ve been doing in information systems and so forth — traditionally, there has been a security element to U.S. export policy where we’ve said there are certain products that could be weaponized, could have military applications, in which we are not going to permit an easy time of exporting those products.

And under the leadership of Bob Gates, my former Secretary of Defense, he actually recommended that we reexamine this whole issue of export controls to make sure that it was up to date and that we were not unnecessarily inhibiting U.S. companies from taking advantage of their biggest competitive advantage, and going out there and selling high-value products made by high-wage workers that create a lot of opportunity for American workers and American businesses.

So we’ve gone through a very systematic process. We are I think starting to see that process bear fruit. We’re going to need some cooperation from Congress, but there’s some things we can do on the executive side. And essentially, the goal of the reform is to clear away impediments for export of those things that really at this point don’t have a military application, or are first-generation stuff that everybody else has already caught up on, so that we can actually focus more on those very narrow sets of technologies where there really is a significant security component.

And we feel optimistic that over the next couple of years we’re going to start being able to make progress. That will help contribute to American businesses being able to make sales, and American workers and American jobs being created here in the United States.

MR. McNERNEY: It will be a big deal for our customers out here, broadly speaking.

We have time for one more question, Mr. President. And as you mentioned earlier, following this meeting you’re headed down to Australia — I just came from Australia — they can’t wait — for a state visit, and then to Indonesia for two regional meetings, the East Asia Summit and the U.S.-ASEAN Summit. As you approach those, what are the issues? What do you hope to accomplish?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: In Australia, we’re going to be focusing a lot on the security alliance between our two countries, but that obviously has broader implications for U.S. presence in the Pacific.

When we get to Bali for the ASEAN meeting and the East Asia Summit, we’re going to be speaking, again, about how can we, a great Pacific power, work with our partners to ensure stability, to ensure free flows of commerce, to ensure that maritime rules, drilling, a whole host of issues are managed in a open and fair way.

And one of the things that I’m very encouraged about is the eagerness of countries to see the U.S. reengaged in this region. I think back here in the United States, there are times where we question our influence around the world. And obviously, having gone through a couple of tough years, having been engaged in a decade of war, we recognize all the challenges that are out there for the United States and the reforms and changes that we’re going to have to make to ensure that we are competitive in this 21st century global economy.

But the news I have to deliver for the American people is American leadership is still welcome. It’s welcomed in this region. It’s welcomed in the transatlantic region. And the reason it’s welcomed I think is because we have shown that we are willing to not just look after our own interests, but try to set up a set of rules and norms in the international arena that everybody can follow and everybody can prosper from. And people appreciate that.

And so I am very proud of the leadership that America obviously has shown in the past. But I also don’t want people to underestimate the leadership that we’re showing now — whether it’s on trade agreements like TPP, or the security issues that face the Pacific. We are I think poised to work in a spirit of mutual interest and mutual respect with countries around the world, but we continue to be a country that people are looking to for active engagement.

MR. McNERNEY: All very welcomed news. Mr. President, thank you very much. Your perspectives were very much appreciated. (Applause.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you very much. (Applause.) Enjoy the good weather.