Artesia, New Mexico - Remarks by Vice President Pence at “USMCA: A Better Deal for American Workers” Event:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, New Mexico! (Applause.)
And I want to say thank you to Claire Chase. Thank you for those kind words. Claire is the Chairman of New Mexico Oil and Gas. She is an advocate for a growing New Mexico economy. Would you join me in thanking Claire Chase for her leadership — past, present, and future? (Applause.) Thank you, Claire.
And to Secretary Ross, to Secretary Bernhardt, to Mayor Miller — (applause). Let’s hear it for Mayor Raye Miller. This is a great town. To local leaders, to honored guests, and also to a young man whose mom just told me at the airport at Roswell — got here at 7:30 just to get in line. Where is Sean McCracken at? Sean? Thanks for coming out today, Sean. (Applause.)
To all of you who’ve made a point to come out today to support this effort, to support this cause, and especially to all the tremendous men and women of Elite Well Services, it is great to join you here at the engine of America’s energy renaissance, the Permian Basin. (Applause.) It’s true.
And as I get started, let me bring greetings from a great champion of American energy, someone who loves New Mexico and is inspired every day by what people working in this industry are doing to advance American energy independence. I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
You know, from our very first day in office, this President promised the American people that we were going to start, as he said, an “energy revolution” — one that celebrates American production on American soil. And President Donald Trump delivered. He’s been delivering on that promise every single day. And American energy is booming here in the Permian Basin and all across America. (Applause.)
From early on in this administration, the President has taken decisive action to unleash American energy. We approved the Keystone and Dakota pipelines. We issued permits for the New Burgos Pipeline that will cross the U.S.-Mexico border. We withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord. (Applause.) And we rolled back the Clean Power Plan and said “yes” to American energy. (Applause.)
In fact, this President and this team you’ve already heard from today — this President has actually signed more bills rolling back federal red tape than any President in American history. (Applause.)
And while we’ve been cutting red tape, we’ve also been cutting taxes. (Applause.) President Donald Trump signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history. And now, a family of four, here in New Mexico, is saving about $2,000 a year that they can spend on their families, their education, or put in the bank for the future. (Applause.)
All of those policies have created incredible results. As you just heard Secretary Ross say, today, the United States is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world. And next year, America will become a net exporter of energy for the first time in 70 years. (Applause.) And you’re making that happen.
And, you know, it’s not just energy that’s booming. Since Election Day, businesses large and small all across this state and this nation have created 6.2 million new jobs, including nearly 35,000 jobs right here in New Mexico.
The unemployment rate has hit a nearly 50-year low. And more Americans are working today than ever before in the long and storied history of this country. (Applause.)
But it’s not just about more jobs; it’s about better wages. And the truth is, you look at the statistics now — wages are rising at their fastest pace in nearly a decade. And maybe most meaningful to the President and me, wages are rising most rapidly for blue-collar, hardworking Americans. The forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. (Applause.)
I mean, this economy has come roaring back. And, frankly, it’s — it’s companies like Elite Well Services that are making it happen all across the Permian Basin.
And although it only began its operation seven years ago, this company has been leading the charge to unlock the full potential of the Permian Basin ever since.
In fact, I’m told, Chase Energy literally doubled the number of its employees in the last three years. And you’ve grown the number of customers you serve by nearly 250 percent. That’s worth a round of applause to the great team here at Elite Well Services. Great job. (Applause.)
And we know that while these policies we’re advancing have made a difference, Elite Well Services is a great company because it has great people, like one of the company’s employees I heard about on my way here — actually the second person ever hired at Elite. She’s the heart and soul of the company, I’m told. Treats every one of her colleagues like they’re the most valuable member of the team. Always willing to go the extra mile to make sure this company succeeds and everybody working for her does well.
And when she isn’t here at work, I’m told, she’s usually reading or relaxing with her husband, Benny, or they’re off camping with their three kids or their four — what she says are — “perfect grandchildren.” Would you all join me in showing your appreciation for Diane Griffin, one of the great, great team members? Where are you, Diane? (Applause.) Turn around. Take a bow. Great job. Thanks, Diane. Appreciate you. Congratulations on all the success here since that day you became the second employee of this place.
Now, Diane — I mention her because she’s really just emblematic of all of you. The men and women of this company and all of you who are working all across this region are really renewing American energy. You’re living the American Dream.
And everything we’ve accomplished in the last two and a half years is a testament to each and every one of you, to the leadership that you’ve supported in our national’s capital. So, first and foremost, let me say, “Thank you, New Mexico.” Thank you for believing in the American Dream. (Applause.)
I’m grateful for your support, but I’m also here because we need your help. To keep the American economy growing, to keep American energy rolling, President Trump and I know that we’ve also got to level the playing field for American energy and American workers by forging trade deals that put America first. And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing from the first days of this administration.
We renegotiated a deal with South Korea. We’re in serious negotiations with Japan and with the European Union. As soon as the UK finishes their work in Brexit, we’re going to get a free trade agreement with the UK. And we put China on notice — (applause) — that the United States will no longer tolerate trade abuses or compromising the international rules of commerce, as they’ve done so for so many years.
But the President, in the midst of all of that, also negotiated the largest trade deal in American history. And I’m here to tell you, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is a win for New Mexico and a win for America! (Applause.)
And the time has come for Congress to pass the USMCA. And border states, like New Mexico, that rely on trade with your neighbors have the most to gain.
The truth is, the USMCA is going to be a huge win for the American people, for New Mexico, but it’s also a win for American energy. It’s going to allow American companies to continue building the infrastructure that you need to carry American energy into Mexico. It will preserve the Investor-State Dispute Settlement that protects American energy’s companies’ rights.
The USMCA will also keep Mexico’s energy resources open to development by American companies, and it will guarantee no tariffs on American oil. (Applause.)
You know, Canada and Mexico are already the top two destinations for American oil. They receive nearly 30 percent of all of our exports. And that number is only going to increase when the USMCA is signed into law.
In fact, according to the International Trade Commission, the USMCA is going to add nearly $70 billion in investments all across our economy, and create nearly 180,000 American jobs. You know, in total, American exports to Canada are going to increase by $19 billion. And we project that they’ll increase — exports will increase to Mexico by about $14 billion.
Now, nearly half of New Mexico’s exports go to either Canada or Mexico, and support 15,000 jobs. So the USMCA is not just a win for America, it is a big win for New Mexico and we’ve got to get Congress to pass it into law. (Applause.) That’s why I’m here.
Because we pass this thing into law, the numbers I just recited are only going to grow. And opportunities for companies like the company that is hosting us today and all of the great companies and families that are represented here are going to be able to expand and grow in the midst of this energy renaissance.
But we’ve got to get it done. It’s why I asked you to come out here, because the clock is ticking. And I figured the best place to turn up the heat on the USMCA was in the heart of New Mexico. (Applause.) I mean, the truth is — (laughs) — you all know something about heat. (Laughter.)
You know, the truth is, the President has done his job. We’ve done our job. Mexico and Canada have done their job. Now it’s time for Congress to do their job and pass the USMCA and pass it this year. (Applause.)
You know, it really is amazing to be back in the Permian Basin. I was in West Texas not long ago and got to see firsthand the incredible — incredible drive toward American energy independence that’s happening here. It’s truly inspiring.
And as I leave here today — and let you all find a little shadier or cooler place to be — I want to tell you, in my heart of hearts, I believe there’s only two things that stand in the way of a boundless energy future, a future of American energy independence.
The first is, we need to pass the USMCA. And that’s going to open the door to a boundless future of American energy. (Applause.) That’s number one.
And second, we need to stand up and speak out with one voice. As we see this energy renaissance happening all across America, we have to reject the radical climate change agenda that is wanting to turn America’s energy clock backwards. (Applause.) Am I right?
We’ve got to say “yes” to America’s energy independence and “no” to the Green New Deal. (Applause.) We’ve got to say “yes” to President Trump’s vision for America’s energy future, and “no” to any candidate for President who wants to eliminate fossil fuels or stand in the way of America’s independent energy future. (Applause.) We need to stand strong.
Men and women of New Mexico, we got to stand strong for the future of American energy. And I know you will. And I want to ask you — I want to ask you, as we work to get this largest trade deal in American history passed by the Congress, to let your voice be heard. I want each of you here today to reach out — reach out to those that represent you in Washington, D.C., here in New Mexico, and tell them that we need the USMCA to keep New Mexico’s economy growing and to keep energy prospering and expanding here in the Permian Basin.
I want you to call Congresswoman Torres Small. I want you to call Senator Udall. I want you to call Senator Heinrich. Tell them we need the USMCA, and we need it this year for New Mexico and America. (Applause.) And while you’ve got them on the phone, tell them that New Mexico believes in American energy independence. (Applause.)
So, thanks for coming out today. I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as time permits. In the days and weeks that lie ahead, I’ll make you a promise: President Trump and I are going to keep fighting. We’re going to keep fighting for all the policies that — that you’ve supported in Washington, D.C., that have made this — this booming economy a reality and that have made this energy renaissance a reality for every American.
You know, I’ve long believed that the source of American greatness has always been our faith, our freedom, and our vast natural resources.
In the last two and a half years, under President Trump’s leadership, we’ve been standing strong on those ideals. We’ve been defending all the freedoms that make this country strong. And we’ve been defending the right of Americans to develop our God-given natural resources. (Applause.)
And doing that — I see it all over the country — we’re — we’re making America great again. And I truly do believe that with your continued support, with the USMCA passed into law, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with strong partners joining us on Capitol Hill, and with God’s help, that we’ll make America more prosperous than ever before. We’ll make energy independence a reality for Americans like never before. And to borrow a phrase, we’ll keep America great. (Applause.)
Thank you, everybody. God bless New Mexico. And God bless America.