THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Pennsylvania! (Applause.)
Thank you so much to Karen Kelley for all the great work she does; to Guy Berkebile and the great people of Guy Chemical. It is great to be here in Somerset County, where people of the Commonwealth are driving a great American comeback. Thank you so much. (Applause.) I'm really honored to be with you all and I appreciate -- I appreciate that warm welcome. It's great to be among so many friends.
And while we're getting started, let me bring greetings from a friend of mine. I called him from Air Force Two, told him I was headed to Pennsylvania to be with all you good people, and I think he sounded just a little bit jealous. (Laughter.) So allow me to bring greetings from a man who loves the Keystone State and has been fighting to keep the promises that he made to the people of Pennsylvania for the last three and a half years. I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
You know, it really is great to be back in Somerset County, and, please, you can take a seat. It's great to be back in Somerset County. It's a place of great families; great businesses, just like this one; great family farms; and I know and I say from my heart, having been in Washington, D.C. on that fateful day, now nearly 20 years ago, this is a place where America will forever remember the heroes forged in the skies on Flight 93, and I thank you for this community's devotion to that vital memorial. (Applause.)
You know, on a personal level, let me also say Somerset County is pretty special to the Pence family. I was telling some of the team here at Guy Chemical earlier, all my kids -- one of whom is a Marine, married; another one who's married to a Navy pilot; another one, who just finished her schooling -- all of them spent every summer for 10 years at Summer's Best Two Weeks. And we just love Somerset County and the role that it played on their faith and their upbringing. (Applause.) So thank you all for that. I know so many churches in the region play a critical role in that -- that wonderful place, and I hope you'll give them all regards.
And it really is great to be here at Guy Chemical. We just got a tour from your CEO. And I'll tell you what: It is entrepreneurs like Guy and companies like Guy Chemical that represent the very best of America. This is a place that believes in hard work, in sacrifice, in loving your neighbor, and you can find it all right here in Somerset County at this great company. (Applause.)
Now, it's amazing to think of all we accomplished over the last three and a half years. After fr- -- after three years of leadership under President Donald Trump, this economy was booming. And President Trump, as I said, literally kept every promise that he made to the people of Pennsylvania and then some and the results were extraordinary.
We cut taxes across the board for working families, businesses, and family farms. This President rolled back more federal regulations already than any President in American history. (Applause.) We fought for free and fair trade. We just signed the new USMCA deal into law, and we fought for American energy. And we're a net exporter of American energy now for the first time in 70 years. (Applause.) And none of that would have been possible without the strong support in our first two years of Republican majorities in the House of Representatives.
And I would be remiss today if I didn't take a moment not just to acknowledge, but to thank a strong, conservative leader in the Congress of the United States who was there every step of the way as we brought this economy all the way back in our first three years. Join me in thanking Congressman John Joyce for all the great work that he does for this state and this nation. (Applause.) Thank you, John. What a great guy.
With Congressman Joyce's support and President Trump's leadership, the results were amazing. In our first three years alone, businesses large and small created more than 8 million jobs. Wages were rising at their fastest pace in nearly 10 years, and they were rising most rapidly for hardworking, blue- collar Americans.
In the first three years of this administration, the forgotten men and women of America were forgotten no more. That's what we call promises made and promises kept. (Applause.) Two million Americans were lifted out of poverty. Seven million Americans were lifted off food stamps. And we reached the highest median income in the history of this country.
And as I mentioned, America made enormous strides toward energy independence. We are now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. (Applause.)
And I'll make you a promise: This President is going to continue to support policies that allow us to develop all of the resources in this land, and that includes -- we're going to support fracking in Pennsylvania and the thousands of jobs that it supports. (Applause.)
Now, the people of Pennsylvania deserve to know that if the other side gets their way, the future is going to look very different. It's true. I mean, with Joe Biden and the Democratic Party -- instead of cutting taxes, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party want to raise taxes by $4 trillion. They want to bury our economy under an avalanche of regulation. And Joe Biden and the Democrats have a $2 trillion plan to abolish fossil fuels, including natural gas. They want to end fracking -- destroy those jobs all across this state and all across this nation.
You know, whereas Joe Biden and the Democrats propose policies that'll stifle jobs and wages and energy, President Donald Trump and I are going to fight for a growing America. Less government, less taxes, less regulation, and more American energy. (Applause.)
You know, it really is amazing -- it really is amazing when you think about those first three years. Pennsylvania employed a record number of workers, set a record in history, and gained back nearly 20,000 manufacturing jobs.
Remember the last administration? The summer of 2016, the last President said, when he was asked about bringing back manufacturing jobs and they'd lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the last administration -- he said -- he said, "What are you going to -- what are you going to have, a magic wand? How are you going to bring those jobs back?"
Well, we didn't need a magic wand. We just needed President Donald Trump in the White House; 500,000 manufacturing jobs came roaring back in those first three years. (Applause.)
Median income rose in this state by $1,400 dollars and we established more than 300 Opportunity Zones in Pennsylvania alone in 289 low-income communities. We're fighting for the opportunities for every American. It's extraordinary. Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians were lifted out of poverty.
In all these areas -- jobs, wages, Opportunity Zones, median income -- America and Pennsylvania were outperforming the last eight years. I mean, the truth is, President Donald Trump achieved more in the last three and a half years then some politicians achieved in the last 30. (Applause.)
And then 2020 came, and the coronavirus pandemic struck our nation. And I'm proud to report that even before the first instance of community transmission of the coronavirus in this country, President Trump took unprecedented action to put the health and safety of America first.
And the truth is, our nation is going through a time of testing. And let me say from my heart that our prayers and our sympathies are with all of the more than 150,000 families that have lost loved ones in the midst of this pandemic. As we continue to contend with the coronavirus in various places across our country, President Trump and our team, and the task force will continue to marshal the full resources of the federal government and the full power of the American economy to meet this moment and put the health of America first. I promise you. (Applause.)
I mean, even before the month of January was out, President Trump took the unprecedented step of suspending all travel from China -- the second-largest economy in the world. He asked me to lead the Coronavirus Task Force that he also set up before the first month of the year was over.
We've reinvented testing from a standing start. As of today, we've done 55 million coronavirus tests -- many, many times more than any country in the world.
We've manufactured and directed hundreds of millions of medical supplies to hospitals across the country, and we're continuing to do that in hotspots across America today.
And working with our great medical companies, I'm proud to report we're distributing medicines and we are well on our way to developing a vaccine for the American people by the end of this year. (Applause.) It's amazing.
Only in America could you have seen the whole-of-the-nation response that's been led by President Donald Trump. With the cooperation of all of you and people across this country, we're going to make our way through this challenging time.
The truth is, we're actually beginning to see encouraging trends -- even across the Sun Belt, where coronavirus cases have risen dramatically over the last three weeks. So we all should remain vigilant. We all should do our part: practice good hygiene, wear a mask whenever it's indicated, protect the vulnerable.
And I promise you, we're going to work every day to make sure that every American impacted in this pandemic has the same level of healthcare any one of us would want for a member of our family. We're going to work around the clock to hasten the day that we have a vaccine, and we will put this coronavirus in the past once and for all. (Applause.)
But from the onset of this pandemic, President Trump didn't just marshal a response to the health challenges our nation faced, but the President also made it clear that we were going to do whatever it took to get American families and American businesses through these challenging times. We worked with the Congress, leaders in both political parties, to secure resources to make direct payments to every American. We launched what's called the Paycheck Protection Program that allowed businesses just like this one to be able to keep people on the payroll during those early difficult days where businesses were required to shut down.
And thanks to the heroic efforts of our healthcare workers and this President's leadership, the American people, and great companies like Guy Chemical, every day we are one day closer to putting the coronavirus in the past, and we're already opening up America again. (Applause.)
It's amazing to think, at the lowest point in this pandemic, our economy lost 22 million jobs. But thanks to that solid foundation that President Trump laid in our first three years, we've already gained back 8 million jobs just in May and June alone, including 440,000 jobs right here in Pennsylvania. (Applause.)
The great American comeback is underway. It's because of that foundation that was poured, but mostly it's because of hardworking people like all of you who have labored through this challenging time, looked after your neighbors and loved ones and friends, and gone right back to work.
You know, President Lincoln once said, "I'm always for the man who wishes to work." And I promise you, President Donald Trump feels the same way. We are for working Americans and going back to work. (Applause.)
This President and I know and believe that hard work is at the very heart of the American Dream, and the American people --the American people love to work hard. That's why we're always going to choose the path of greater freedom and greater opportunity. We're going to continue to advance policies that will make it possible for more businesses around America to do just what Guy Chemical has done, and that is: show resilience and generosity, and open the doors of businesses, and put America back to work.
Which brings me to Guy and Guy Chemical. You know, Guy, I not only want to thank you for your hospitality today, but I want to thank you for your leadership. You exemplify what is making this great American comeback happen all over the nation. And we thank you for your leadership, and for your family, and for your devotion to all the great people of this company and this community. (Applause.)
I learned all about Guy on my way here. His story shows us at the end of the day, this is a -- this is a company that's not just about facts and figures; this is a company, first and foremost, that's about people, families, and the dignity and the importance that comes from hard work.
You know, I'm told that, in Guy's first few years, the company lost money and Guy didn't earn a salary for five years.
Guy always made sure he paid his employees before he paid himself. He mortgaged his house seven times. And he and his wonderful wife and their family made huge sacrifices during those years.
When they were young, Guy's kids, I'm told, would bring their sleeping bags and video game to stay overnight at the plant because somebody had to watch them, and Mom had to work.
You hinged your family's future to the success of this company every single day, and it all paid off. Your faith, your determination, your vision, your hard work, and your love for this community and these people -- Guy Chemical became, Inc. -- an Inc. 500 company. And in 2013, Guy chemical was the SBA Exporter of the Year. (Applause.) Wow.
At the beginning in January 2017, you began growing at a rate unequaled in those previous 25 years. He told me, standing in the back -- we talked a little bit about faith, family, and then he said to me that, thanks to President Trump's tax cut, Guy Chemical has been able to grow and expand every day since. (Applause.)
You bought new equipment; I got to see some of it. And I don't know how it works, but it was very impressive. You bought that new equipment, sales grew by 9 million, and you were able to hire another 29 new people in this community. Washington taxed you less, and you increased the salaries and bonuses for the workers at Guy Chemical.
In 2019 alone, you all deserve to know that Guy and Guy chemical raised wages for plant employees by 10 to 15 percent. And since President Trump took office and we got those tax cuts done, this company has grown by 33 percent. That's how America grows. (Applause.)
But like every other business in America, when the pandemic hit, Guy Chemical took a hit. But that didn't stop Guy or this great family or this great team. It's really impressive to me that you didn't close. You extended a hand of support to your employees. And thanks to your quick action, you were able to become part of the solution. I'm told that in just one short week, you received FDA approval and Guy Chemicals started producing hand sanitizers and providing them all over the state and all over America. That's what it means to be part of the solution. (Applause.) And you donated thousands of hand sanitizers to businesses and organizations and churches all across the region.
You're part of a great American comeback, and it's a comeback that starts right here with heart. It's the heart for your faith in God, which everybody who knows you knows is real. It's your foundation. But it's so heart for your family, it's a heart for all these great people that's driving a great American comeback at this great company -- and frankly, all over Pennsylvania and all over America. Hard work, sacrifice, loving your neighbor as yourself -- it's what brings Pennsylvania back, and it's going to bring America all the way back. (Applause.)
In fact, this company is already making plans. Guy -- Guy told me when I got here that, thanks to those tax cuts -- the ability to expense -- expense the investment in equipment and all the other tax cuts that were put into effect over the last three and a half years -- Guy Chemical is announcing today that they're making a $3.5 million investment right here in Somerset County. They're going to hire another 30 people and get this economy rolling again. (Applause.) Thanks for leading the great American comeback.
You know, some people believe more government, more red tape, and pushing some Washington agenda is what makes America great. But I want to assure you, President Trump and I -- we know that it's people like all of you, people at places like this, families, and businesses, and family farms all across Somerset County, you're what make America great. And you're going to make America great again. (Applause.)
You're the ones who create the jobs. You're the ones who provide for your families the dignity of hard work. You're the ones who extend your hands in love to neighbors and friends in challenging times. You're the heart of the great American comeback, and I just came here to say thank you -- thank you for all you've done.
You know, I've long believed that faith and freedom in our vast natural resources are the pillars of American greatness. And here in Pennsylvania, you've built this Commonwealth through the generations on those same ideals and values: a belief in freedom and the development of the resources of this land, the goodness of your people, and on the grace of God.
Here in a state that was founded on religious liberty, whose founder, William Penn, once famously said, "I shall not usurp the right of any for God has furnished me with a better resolution and [it] has given me [the] grace to keep it." You have kept the faith in Pennsylvania, and so shall we. (Applause.)
And with confidence that He who was with William Penn when he founded the Commonwealth so long ago is still with us today, I say with confidence that with President Donald Trump in the White House, with faith and hard work of the great people of Somerset and of the Keystone State, I know the best days for Pennsylvania and America are yet to come.
In our first three years, we made America great again. And with your support and prayers and hard work, we're going to make America great again, again.
Thank you very much. (Applause.) God bless you. God bless Pennsylvania and God bless America.
3:21 P.M. EDT