Fincantieri Marinette Marine Marinette, WI June 25 4:07 P.M. CDT
Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, it's a good song, isn't it though? Lee Greenwood.
And thank you very much. I'm thrilled to be here with you on this incredible summer day in Wisconsin on the edge of the beautiful Lake Michigan - that is beautiful too; I know it well - with the legendary workers of Marinette Marine. And you now have a lot of contracts because of the United States government. You're going to - you're going to be so busy. (Applause.) You're going to be so busy. I know you went through a little bit of a hard time; not anymore. Not anymore. Got you covered for years.
For more than 75 years, the workers of this shipyard have built some 1,500 of the finest and most fearsome vessels ever to sail. You've kept our sailors safe and our Navy strong. Every single day you prove that American workers are the best in the world and now you're going to do things like you've never done before.
Moments ago, I walked the length of the majestic freedom-class combat ship that many of you have been pouring your hearts and souls out for over a year. Soon, that ship will be commissioned into the most powerful fleet in human history. We're building up the Navy. We'll have 350 ships. It was actually down to a level which was - World War One - that's a long time ago, isn't it? World War One. We're building it up very rapidly. It's the United States Navy. It'll be bigger and stronger than it ever was before. Everywhere it goes, our allies and enemies alike will know the strength and pride that symbolizes that name USS - and there it is - Marinette. Proud of it. It's great. (Applause.)
I want to thank the leadership team of Fincantieri Marinette Marine for welcoming us to this incredible place. It's truly an incredible place. And now the world is watching because you're here, not because I'm here - because you're here. But the world is watching you. Including, I want to thank Jan Allman, Dario Deste, and Admiral - Vice Admiral Rick Hunt. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Great job. Thank you. (Applause.)
Thanks also to Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President Stephanie Hill. Thank you, Stephanie. Great job. (Applause.)
We're pleased to be joined as well by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a legend on Wall Street. And he's putting his magic to work. Our economy is coming back at a level that nobody ever imagined possible. We're doing great. We're doing great. (Applause.)
And remember, as I say all the time, because we want say this in front of the media - there they are. Look at all those people - the fake news. (Applause.)
We have the greatest - (applause) - we have the greatest testing program in the world. We've developed it over a period of time. And we're up to almost 30 million tests. That means we're going to have more cases. If we didn't want to test, or if we didn't test, we wouldn't have cases. But we have cases because we test. Deaths are down. We have one of the lowest mortality rates.
We've done an incredible, historic job. And I want the people working on it - and not me - but I want all of those people in the task force that have done such a great job on the testing, on the ventilators - we're now making thousands of ventilators a week. When we started, we weren't making ventilators. We didn't have them and other people didn't have them. We had very few.
Now we're helping other countries with the ventilator problem. A little bit like ships: They're complicated to make, they're big, they're expensive. And we're making now thousands a week and we're helping many other countries. They call and they need help. Because this horrible virus has hit 188 countries, if you can believe it. It came from China and it hit 188 countries. Not good. Not good.
I want to thank Wisconsin State Representatives John Nygren and Mary Felzkowski. Mary, thank you very much. John, thank you very much. Thank you both. (Applause.) And Marinette Mayor Steve Genisot. Thank you, Steve, wherever you may be. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)
We're here today to celebrate the resounding victory for all of you, for Wisconsin, for the United States military, and for our entire nation. Our nation is very proud of Wisconsin.
Not long ago, the future of this historic shipyard was looking - can I use the word "bleak"? Yes, I think we can. It was looking bleak. You were down to 44 people, and it was getting ready to close up. Then a lot of good things came along. Despite your extraordinary service to our country over the generations, this beloved facility - the mainstay of your community, by far - you were going to - to levels of poverty. They actually had levels of poverty that nobody would have believed, with all the talent, because I see that. I understand manufacturing. Remember? "Manufacturing was never going to come back." Well, it did come back. And it came back big.
But I understand - (applause) - I have an aptitude for manufacturing, and I said it's got to come back and it will come back. And we were doing great. And we'll do now even better. We're going to have a better year next year, I think, than almost any year in our history.
And we were going through the single-greatest year that we've ever had, from an employment standpoint, from a stock market standpoint. And your 401(k)s right now - people have 401(k)s; they're very happy with President Trump right now because they're almost at the level that they were when the virus came over.
But this is a mainstay of your community, and it was facing proposed and the prospect of a final layoff and a total downsized production. Downsized to almost nothing.
But this past April, Marinette's fortunes turned around, and they turned around quickly. As part of my administration's colossal rebuilding of the United States military - we've totally rebuilt the military - $2.5 trillion. And some people would say, "Well, that's out of the budget." I said, "Let me tell you something: There is no budget when it comes to our military because we don't have to - we don't want the wrong people running up the front lawn of the White House, right? (Applause.) If they were, I don't want to say, "Well, maybe I did a lousy job with the military, but I did a great job on the budget." No, thank you. No, thank you.
No, we have an incredible - and you know what's the greatest part about it? The greatest missiles in the world. The greatest rockets. You saw, the other day, one of the rockets go off so successfully. The greatest ships. The greatest ships. These are the greatest of their kind anywhere in the world. The fastest, the most powerful. The greatest of everything. And, you know, the beautiful thing about it, it's all made in the USA. It's made by you and your counterparts. (Applause.) It's made in the USA - the army tanks from Ohio.
As part of my administration's rebuilding of the United States military, you were awarded a contract to build the next generation of guided missile frigates for the United States Navy. (Applause.) The FFG(X) - FX - is that good? FX. So you've got the FFG(X). Yeah, that's right. That's pretty good. What does that stand for, please? Would you please tell me? Does anybody know? F-F-G-X. I think nobody knows, but that's okay. It sounds good to me.
But it's going to be built right here in the American Heartland, and it's going to be built by you. And it's going to go on for a long time because it's up to 20 ships, and it might be extended. And they're working on an extension right now. And we'll see. But just go. You're going to be building your hearts away. So good luck on the - on the program.
The massive deal is worth up to $5.5 billion. It will put this shipyard to work constructing some of the fastest, most advanced, and most maneuverable combat ships anywhere on the ocean. I hear the maneuverability is one of the big factors that you were chosen for the contract. The other is your location in Wisconsin, if you want to know the truth.
This contract will support your 1,500 full-time employees, and it will also enable you to hire another 1,000 people all across the shipyards in Wisconsin. It's one of the biggest contracts you've ever seen in the state.
An estimated 15,000 additional new jobs will be created through the Wisconsin supply chain. You notice that's not a supply chain going through China and going through other countries. It's called "The Wisconsin." Isn't that nice? (Applause.) The Wisconsin supply chain. (Applause.) That's been bugging me for about 25 years. I think that's why I became President, if you want to know the truth.
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