UPS Hapeville Airport Hub Atlanta, GA July 15 3:42 P.M. EDT
Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. Great honor. Please. Thank you. Sit down, please.
It's great to be with you. Great company and wonderful location. Quick flight. It's in and out, but we have some big things to say.
Carol, I want to thank you also for doing such an incredible job at this company. I look at your numbers and I'm very jealous. A lot of people are very jealous.
But I'm delighted to be back in Atlanta, Georgia — a special place. (Applause.) The hometown of one of the most amazing companies on Earth, UPS. They never fail. (Applause.) The dedicated men and women of UPS are an inspiration to us all.
In the face of every challenge, you always come through for your fellow citizens. Would you say that's correct? I say it's correct. (Applause.) Let me start by expressing my gratitude to every driver, worker, and employee who has contributed to this great success and continue to deliver for America throughout our battle against the China virus. It goes by many different names — about 21 that I can figure. We maybe will use a different one every time we hit it. But whatever it is, it was a terrible thing and it could have been stopped and it should have been stopped right where it started, in China.
Together we will defeat this virus and emerge stronger than ever before. We're here today — (applause) — to celebrate a historic breakthrough that will transform the lives of workers and families all across our nation.
For decades, the single biggest obstacle to building a modern transportation system has been the mountains and mountains of bureaucratic red tape in Washington, D.C. Before I took office, reviews for highways ballooned to an average of nearly 750 pages in length. And they were the good ones; they were the short ones.
And I know because I was in business for a long time, and I had to go through a process that was so ridiculous. It was so ridiculous. We went through a process for building buildings, usually. It would take forever. By the time you'd start building, the market changed. You said, "You know, the market was good when we started; now the market is lousy." So you'd say, "The hell with it. We won't build." Sometimes you'd start building and you'd say, "That was a mistake."
But we went through years and years of litigation and tumult, and it was just not good. But you go through it to an even greater extent.
The maze-like approval process represented lobbyists that were very rich; they were making a lot of money. I remember I'd go up to Albany, New York, and I'd see my lobbyists up there. I said, "What are you doing here?" I knew what they were doing. They were trying to make it more difficult. So you had to hire them for more and more work, spend millions and millions of dollars for nothing.
But too often, they caused massive delays, on top of everything else. And that way, they got their fees over a longer period of time. It's one of the reasons why, for example, the average Atlanta driver spends an incredible 77 hours in traffic during a short period of time.
But all of that ends today. We're doing something very dramatic. (Applause.) We just completed an unprecedented — and I don't want to say it's absolutely unprecedented — top-to- bottom overhaul — should have been done years ago — of the infrastructure approval process; this approval process that has cost trillions of dollars over the years for our country and delays like you wouldn't believe.
This is a truly historic breakthrough, which means better roads, bridges, tunnels, and highways for every UPS driver and every citizen all across our land. Together, we're reclaiming America's proud heritage as a nation of builders and a nation that can get things done, because with these horrible roadblocks that were put in front of us, you couldn't get it done. No matter how good you were, you couldn't get it done. You'd wait and wait. You'd go to the next step. You'd say, "You can't start the next step until you finish the first."
Joining us for the special occasion are: Council of Environmental Quality Chairman Mary Neumayr. Where's Mary? Mary. Thank you, Mary. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you, Mary. Good.
Secretary of Transportation — a very special woman, a great woman; somebody that has done an incredible job: Elaine Chao. Elaine. (Applause.) And she was very much instrumental in getting this done. And when Elaine speaks, we all listen. But she was very much instrumental.
Secretary of Agriculture, a man who's done a fantastic job for our farmers and ranchers: Sonny Perdue. Sonny. (Applause.) And I learned more about farming from Sonny Perdue than all of these consultants that came in. I learned more in a half an hour from that man right there. We had a great call today with the farmers too. A great call. They're doing very well. A lot of good things have happened. Right, Sonny? A lot of things have happened. They were targeted by China. They were targeted by others.
We just signed the USMCA, which is phenomenal for our country and our farmers. (Applause.) Got rid of one of the worst trade deals in history, NAFTA. One of the worst trade deals ever. How anybody could have signed it, but worse, how anybody could have let it run for 25 years or whatever it was. They just took advantage of us. We had 60,000 empty plants and factories in our country by the time that mess got finished. So we just signed a great deal, USMCA. It's the largest trade deal ever made — Mexico, Canada. The largest ever made. (Applause.)
I know Sonny would like me to thank the UPS, all of the drivers and workers, for all of the help in delivering nearly 30 million meals to rural children throughout the country through our Meals-to-You program. Meals-to-You. You know what that is? Meals-to-You. You do, right?
We're also pleased to be joined by a great senator, somebody that's done a phenomenal job. And I can tell you — look, he's a friend of mine, so I'm a little prejudiced, but he's a man that's respected by everybody on both sides of the U.S. Senate. He works hard. He loves your state. And I always say, "Does David get the kind of recognition that he deserves?" Because he is a very, very special man. David Perdue. Where's David? (Applause.) David. Thank you.
And a woman who has come in and done a great job, and she's been so supportive of me and the agenda and a good person, a good woman with a husband who's a terrific man, Senator Kelly Loeffler. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you, Kelly. Great job, Kelly.
And warriors. These are warriors. These people fought for us through thick and thin, through very, very unfair territory. We were treated terribly, and they came in and they turned out to be tougher than the other side, by a lot.
And I just want to introduce Representatives Rick Allen — Rick. Thanks, Rick. (Applause.) The great Buddy Carter. Buddy. (Applause.) An incredible spokesman, an incredible man and friend, Doug Collins. Doug. Thank you, Doug. (Applause.) Great job, Doug. Drew Ferguson. Drew. Thank you very much, Drew. (Applause.) Jody Hice. Jody. Thank you, Jody. Great job, Jody. (Applause.) And Barry Loudermilk. (Applause.) Larry, thank you very much.
And also, two people, friends of mine — they'll be there soon, in my opinion, because they have to be because we need all the help we can get in Washington: Karen Handel. Karen. (Applause.) Thank you very much, Karen. Thank you, Karen. And Rich McCormick. Rich. Thank you. (Applause.) They'll be there soon, I hope. I hope. We need them. We need them. Get them in there.
Thank you as well to a man who I became very good friends with, a man who was running against somebody that was unbeatable, running against a superstar. I said, "Oh, she's a superstar. Wow." Can you beat superstars? I don't think so. But he figured out how to beat a superstar. And, I don't know, is she still a superstar, Brian? I'm not sure. I'm not sure. I don't think so. (Laughter.) I don't know. Superstars don't lose, do they? Governor Brian Kemp. (Applause.) I'll tell you, what a — what a warrior he is. He is tough. He's tough. And he's done a great job, and you've done a great job in every aspect of running this incredible state. And I've always been there for you. He was saying when we met at the plane, "Everything we've needed in Georgia, you've been there for." And that's right. That's right. (Applause.)
Perhaps more important than Brian, however — right? — far more important is Georgia First Lady, Marty Kemp. Thank you very much, Marty. (Applause.)
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