Trump hails economic growth

USA TRUMP UN SECURITY COUNCIL Donald Trump has urged Republicans and Democrats to work together in his State of the Union speech.

President Donald Trump has hailed a bustling US economy, low unemployment and rising wages in his first State of the Union speech, telling members of Congress and the nation that business confidence is at an all-time high.

Trump touted tax cuts passed in December, reduced federal regulations, bonuses paid to workers and corporations that have announced planned investment, saying all these things have further stoked growth.

In the speech on Tuesday, which lasted about 80 minutes, Trump described an 8-trillion-dollar rise in US stock market valuations as “great news” for Americans’ retirement accounts, while unemployment has continued to fall since he took office, with jobless rates for minorities at what he said were all-time lows.

The tax reform legislation slashed the business tax rate from 35 per cent to 21 per cent, “so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world”, Trump said.

He said his administration has eliminated more regulations in his first year than any administration in history and he is helping to lure manufacturers back to the country, noting that this is news that Americans are unaccustomed to hearing.

He highlighted Chrysler’s plan to move a major plant from Mexico to Michigan and plans by Toyota and Mazda to open up a plant in Alabama.

“Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country,” Trump said. “For many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us. But now they are coming back.”

The speech was interspersed with sustained applause for people Trump invited to attend. This included an emotional moment for the parents of two teenage girls murdered by the international crime gang, MS-13. Another was a police officer who, together with his wife, adopted a baby born to a homeless heroin user.

Trump said the latter couple, Ryan and Rebecca Holet, who were seated next to first lady Melania Trump along with their baby girl, “embody the goodness of our nation”.

Trump told the audience – members of Congress along with Supreme Court justices and members of his cabinet – that there has never been a better time to start living the American dream.

He spent several minutes talking about what he said was a “fair compromise” he has proposed on immigration reforms in the hope of winning support from opposition Democrats to get the legislation through Congress.

He said there could be a “path to citizenship” for up to 1.8 million people brought into the country illegally as children, while demanding a “wall on the Southern border,” one of Trump’s key campaign promises.

He also called for an end to the US visa lottery in favour of “merit-based immigration” and for a halt to family-sponsored immigration beyond spouses and minor children.

Trump described the proposal as “one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs”.

In addition, Trump announced some news in the speech regarding the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He said he signed an order just prior to the speech to reverse his predecessor’s unfulfilled desire to close the facility.

Trump concluded the speech by paying tribute to the founders of the country and saying it still belongs to the people as they envisioned.

“The people dreamed this country. The people built this country,” he said. “And it is the people who are making America great again.”

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