SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – President Trump debuted his “pro-American” tax reform in a speech at the Loren Cook Company in Springfield, Missouri, at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Loren Cook is a 76-year-old manufacturing company that designs and produces fans, blowers, vents, laboratory exhaust systems and energy recovery ventilators, and ships its products internationally. The president used the company as an example of economic success and a platform to speak about his tax reform ideas.
The president began his speech by touching on the events unfolding in Texas and Louisiana as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to wreak havoc on the region.
“We must be vigilant. We must protect the lives of our people,” President Trump said.
President Trump talked about his visit to Houston the previous day and commended Texas Governor Greg Abbott for his response to the historic storm.
He also extended condolences to those affected.
“Together, we will endure, and we will overcome. To those affected by the storm, we are praying for you, and we are with you every single step of the way,” he said.
President Trump went on to detail his plan for tax reform.
It revolves around four main principles, he said:
- Tax code is simple, fair and easy to understand.
- Tax code is competitive, and creates more jobs and higher wages for workers.
- It provides tax relief for middle-class families.
- It brings back trillions of dollars of wealth that’s "parked" overseas.
The president’s “American Model” focuses on bringing prosperity back to the United States through reduced taxes.
He talked about historic Route 66, which ran through Missouri and seven other states, and what it represented.
“For many decades, Route 66 captured the American spirit. The communities along this historic route were a vivid symbol of America’s booming industry,” President Trump said. “In recent years, millions of Americans have watched that prosperity slip away in the rearview mirror.”
He went on to say that if Americans want to renew that prosperity, the tax burden on companies and workers must be reduced. He said lower taxes would equal higher wages for workers and more products made in the U.S., and ultimately economic growth.
“Instead of exporting our jobs, we will export our goods,” President Trump said.
The president said he would like to cut the tax rate to as low as 15 percent, saying America would not be able to restore its wealth if it continued to put its business at a disadvantage on the world stage.
President Trump also talked about how his tax reform would affect the middle class, who he called the “forgotten people.”
He said lower taxes would allow middle-class Americans to keep more of their paychecks and to then spend their money on American-made products.
He said it would also mean families could afford child care, something he said is important to his daughter Ivanka, who was in the audience.
President Trump also said he wants Congress to get on board with this first major tax reform in more than 30 years. He said partisanship needs to be put aside to create the “21st century tax code that our people deserve.”
He specifically called on Missouri voters to tell Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill to embrace tax reform, and if she didn’t, to then vote her out of office.
Other people in attendance included U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon, and U.S. Representatives Sam Graves, Vicki Hartzler and Blaine Luetkemeyer.
Protests were expected outside the event, which was not open to the public.
The president was scheduled to return to Washington D.C. at the conclusion of the speech.
President Trump will make several additional stops to sell his tax reform plan.