On his way to Iowa to make an appearance on his campaign trail, President Donald Trump stopped in Michigan — a battleground state in the election. A sign reading "Welcome Trump" hung outside Dana Incorporated in Warren.
Trump delivered a speech at Dana Incorporated — an auto supplier — about the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, as U.S. Senators held their second day of questioning in his impeachment trial.
Signed yesterday, the deal replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which Trump was critical of from the beginning of his campaign.
"NAFTA was the worst trade deal probably ever made, by any country," Trump said during his speech.
The USMCA provides protections for high-wage factories, intellectual property and access to Canada's dairy markets, per the United States Trade Representative's office. However, Michigan's manufacturing-based cities like Warren may only feel marginal gains that take years to arrive, according to Politco.
An estimated 800 to 1,000 people were in attendance at the manufacturing plant, including employees, staff, volunteers, members of the media and security personnel.
"USMCA is an especially big win for American auto workers, and we will create up to 80,000 (jobs) minimum," he said. "Something you haven't seen over the last couple of years."
The independent International Trade Commission estimates about 28,000 jobs will be added to the automotive industry in the next five years.
Trump said that as a result of NAFTA being signed, the United States was losing jobs to Mexico and Canada for 16 years before he was elected. The new trade agreement will solve this issue, he said.
"Most importantly, we have strong new provisions to ensure American workers are being hired to do the job," Trump said. "We want to hire American workers."
Trump spoke about how valuable he finds American manufacturing workers, and invited Devin Mallory to speak at the podium. Mallory is an employee at Dana Incorporated and a veteran who said he struggled getting back in to the job force.
"As our family grew, my wife and I decided we wanted to move closer to family," he said. "I started looking for a job ... last year, and was quickly able to find a position at Dana."
CEO of Dana Incorporated James Kamsickas said part of the reason why the president was invited to speak at his company was because Kamsickas served on a manufacturing council under the Trump administration in 2017. Kamsickas reiterated how the USMCA would facilitate job creation in Michigan and better business for Dana Incorporated.
"Dana has gained a lot from it by getting certainty and knowing what our trade relationships are going to be. What it's going to cost us to do it," he said. "Throughout the course of the last two and a half years — or ever since we've been going through this — I've been a big advocate."
Kamsickas said he had no doubt his entire staff was on board with inviting the president to speak at their facility.
"The USMCA got voted in bipartisan — both sides," Kamsickas said. "So, it didn't matter what party affiliation you're tied to — this is good for the United States."
In addition to speaking about the USMCA, Trump also spoke about his first term.
"We've done all these things," Trump said. "Remember the tax cut? It was the biggest tax cut in the history of our country. And what do they do? They impeach you. Explain that one. ... Very partisan situation, it's frankly a disgrace to our country. But there has been no administration has done what we've done in the first three years of an administration."