Rose Garden Washington D.C. July 14 5:29 P.M. EDT
Thank you very much, everybody. Please. I hope it's not too hot. But it's pretty warm. Thank you.
So, we've had a big day in the stock market. Things are coming back, and they're coming back very rapidly — a lot sooner than people thought. People are feeling good about our country. People are feeling good about therapeutics and possible vaccines. But we're going to go over quite a bit, and maybe at the end, we'll take some questions if we have time, if it's not too hot.
Today, I signed legislation and an executive order to hold China accountable for its oppressive actions against the people of Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which I signed this afternoon, passed unanimously through Congress. This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong's freedom. We've all watched what happened. Not a good situation. Their freedom has been taken away. Their rights have been taken away. And with it, goes Hong Kong, in my opinion, because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets.
A lot of people will be leaving Hong Kong, I suspect. And we're going to do a lot more business because of it, because we just lost one competitor. That's the way it is. We lost a very, very serious competitor. A competitor that we incentivized to take a lot of business and do well. And we gave them a lot of business by doing what we did. We gave them things that nobody else had the right to do, and that gave them a big edge over other markets. And because of that edge, they've done really historic business, tremendous business — far bigger than anybody would have thought, years ago, when we did this gift. It was really a gift to freedom.
Today, I also signed an executive order ending U.S. preferential treatment for Hong Kong. Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China: no special privileges, no special economic treatment, and no export of sensitive technologies.
In addition to that, as you know, we're placing massive tariffs and have placed very large tariffs on China — first time that's ever happened to China. Billions of dollars have been paid to the United States, of which I've given quite a bit to the farmers and ranchers for our country because they were targeted. And that's been going on for three years. It's the first time anybody's ever done anything like that.
And prior to the plague pouring in from China, they were having the worst year, you know, in 67 years. And I don't want them to have a bad year; I want them to have a good year, but they were taking advantage of the United States for many, many years, and that's stopping.
But then they — then the virus came in, and the world is a different place. But we're now getting back, and one of the reasons the market is doing so — it's almost at the point that it was at prior to the plague. Almost. We're getting very close. It's a great thing. It's an amazing thing, what our people have done and what they've endured.
No administration has been tougher on China than this administration. We imposed historic tariffs. We stood up to China's intellectual property theft, at a level that nobody has ever come close. We confronted untrustworthy Chinese technology and telecom providers. We convinced many countries — many countries — and I did this myself, for the most part — not to use Huawei because we think it's an unsafe security risk. It's a big security risk. I talked many countries out of using it. If they want to do business with us, they can't use it.
Just today, I believe that UK announced that they're not going to be using it. And that was up in the air for a long time, but they've decided. And you look at Italy; you look at many other countries.
We withdrew from the Chinese-dominated WHO, and we fully rebuilt the United States Military. The WHO — World Health Organization — we were paying close to $500 million a year. China was paying $39 million a year. And China had too much say. They worked it very hard, which is a bad thing done by our past administrations. But we were tough, and we were saying — I was asking — I said, "Why are we paying so much more than China?" China has 1.4 billion people; we have 325- — probably 325 million, approximately. Nobody can give the exact count. We're trying to get an exact count. But you have, over the years, many illegals who have come into the country, so it depends on how you want to count it. But you could say 325- to 350 million people, as opposed to 1.4 billion people.
And the World Trade — World Trade is terrible. That deal is terrible. And the World Health is a terrible deal. We've been very tough on the World Trade Organization, and we've been, I guess, as tough as you can get on World Health. We withdrew our money. We told them we're getting out. It doesn't mean that someday we won't go back in. Maybe we will, when it's correctly run. But they made a lot of bad predictions, and they said a lot of bad things about what to do and how to do it. And they turned out to be wrong, and they were really a puppet of China.
And make no mistake: We hold China fully responsible for concealing the virus and unleashing it upon the world. They could've stopped it. They should've stopped it. It would've been very easy to do at the source when it happened.
In contrast, Joe Biden's entire career has been a gift to the Chinese Communist Party and to the calamity of — of errors that they've made. They made so many errors. And it's been devastating for the American worker. China has taken out hundreds of billions of dollars a year from our country. And we rebuilt China. I give them all the credit in the world. I don't give the credit for the people that used to stand here, because they allowed this to happen where hundreds of billions of dollars were taken out of the United States Treasury in order to rebuild China.
There's no company and no country in the world — no country in the world has ever ripped off the United States like the incredible job that they did on this country and the people that ran it. Possibly, it's one of the reasons — certainly, it's one of the very big reasons — trade and things related to trade — that I got elected in the first place. I've been talking about it for a long time, along with many other subjects, frankly.
Joe Biden supported China's entry into the World Trade Organization — one of the greatest geopolitical and economic disasters in world history. If you look at China, if you look at the moment they joined the World Trade, they were flat lining for years and years and years and decades. And then, all of a sudden, they joined the World Trade Organization, and they went like a rocket ship. They were given all sorts of advantages. They were considered a developing country. As a developing country, they got tremendous advantages over the United States and other countries. And they took advantage of those advantages, and — and then some.
Biden personally led the effort to give China permanent, most-favored nation status, which is a tremendous advantage for a country to have. Few countries have it. But the United States doesn't have it. Never did. Probably never even asked for it, because they didn't know what they were doing.
As Vice President, Biden was a leading advocate of the Paris Climate Accord, which was unbelievably expensive to our country. It would've crushed American manufacturers while allowing China to pollute — pollute the atmosphere with impunity. Yet one more gift from Biden to the Chinese Communist Party.
They took all of the advantage away from us. They took everything away. They don't have oil. We would've had to close up tremendous amounts of our energy to qualify, eventually, not too far into the future. We would've had to do things that would have been unbelievably destructive to our country, including the possible closing of 25 percent of our businesses. Think of that. And it was going to cost us hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars for the privilege of being involved in the Paris Climate Accord.
And you just have to look at what took place this year in Paris and France, where money was being sent to countries all over the world, and the people of France didn't want to take it, and they didn't, and they did a lot of rioting. They had their taxes raised. We would have had to raise our taxes. And it was a disaster. I've been given a lot of credit for what I did there. It took a certain amount of courage, I guess, because it sounds so nice — the Paris Climate Accord — but it wasn't good for us at all.
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