FROM: U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
The World Wants What America Makes
Secretary of State
Boeing Renton Factory
May 19, 2015
SECRETARY KERRY: Pat, thank you very, very much. I beg your slight indulgence at the beginning of this because I’m suffering from those air miles. (Laughter.) Actually, it’s a combination of allergy and a cold, and I don’t recommend it to anybody. But if I stop occasionally, you’ll understand why.
Pat, thank you for a very generous introduction. Most importantly, thank you for your role and the role of all of these workers and supporters of Boeing. What an extraordinary company. I am delighted to be here at Boeing, although I think, because of this speech, it’s going to be one airplane every 13 hours today, I’m afraid. (Laughter.)
I see our former ambassador to China and former governor and former secretary of commerce here, Gary Locke. It’s great to see you. Thank you for being here with us. (Applause.) And thank you, all of you, for welcoming me to this really beautiful state.
As you may know, I’ve been traveling an awful lot, so when I was told we were landing in Washington, you can imagine my relief when I remembered that it was this Washington – (laughter) – the one with Mount Rainer in the background and Puget Sound at its feet, and the jet plane capital of the world right here in Renton, too, and I’m very, very honored to be here with all of you. Thank you.
My wife Teresa and I have always loved coming to the state of Washington. We have a lot of similarities with our great state of Massachusetts, but I’m very, very glad to be back here today. And being outside here like this, standing here, it kind of brings me back to a few years ago. The people of Washington State are not only warm and welcoming, but your judgment is impeccable, and I particularly appreciated that in November of 2004. (Laughter and applause.) Of course, I’d have been a little bit more grateful if you’d spent a little more time sharing wisdom you’re your friends and relatives back in Ohio. It would have – no. (Laughter.)
But the fact is the quality of your engagement has long been on display in the representatives that you send to Washington through many, many years. From Warren Magnuson to Scoop Jackson to your outstanding House delegation and to my former Senate colleagues Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, you have always sent the very best to Washington, and both your state and our nation are better for it.
I am especially pleased to be back here at Boeing. I landed many, many times at Boeing Field. I’m delighted to be here next to the Renton Field. Today I finally get a factory tour, and you have no idea how much fun that is for me. Flying has been in my family for generations. My dad was a pilot who enlisted in the Army Air Corps a year before Pearl Harbor and he took me on my very first flight in a Piper J-3 over Washington, D.C. when I was about ten years old. And I’ve been a pilot myself ever since college. And like most pilots, I try to fly whenever I can, whatever I can.
A few years ago, when I was still in the Senate, I made a trip to the Middle East and I was at lunch at an Israeli air force base down in the southern part of Israel. And the colonel who was in charge was an ace from Israel’s Six-Day War and he knew that I had been requesting the opportunity to fly in Israel, so that I could get a bird’s eye view of the security challenges. And Tel Aviv had refused to sign off on the idea of this senator going flying, but I kept badgering. And during lunch at the base, I asked the colonel, “Hey, check with Tel Aviv one more time, see if we could take a flight.” And he comes back to me and he says, “Senator, I hope you didn’t eat too much because we’re going flying.” (Laughter.) So the next thing, I’m driving out with him. I leave my party at the lunch. I drive out to the airfield, they give me a helmet and a suit and we jump in this jet trainer and he says, “The moment we’re off the ground, it’s your airplane.” I said, “Man, he didn’t even check my logbook and – nothing.” (Laughter.) This is – I’m okay with this.
So I grab the stick, up we go, we start flying around. Next thing we know, I’m flying – about three minutes into the flight, I’m flying towards the Red Sea, and there’s a voice in my ear in the helmet saying, “Senator, you better turn faster. You’re going over Egypt.” (Laughter.) And so I turn real hard. And then I asked him if I could do some aerobatics, which I love to do, over the desert. And he gave me the thumbs-up, so I did some rolls and a great big loop, and turned the plane upside down. And below me, spread out below me, I could see the whole Sinai. I could see Aqaba. I could see Jordan. I could see a lot of Israel. And I thought to myself, “Wow, this is fantastic. This is the perfect way to understand the Middle East – upside-down and backwards.” (Laughter.) And I’m telling you, that’s been reinforced to me more and more, day to day.
But I managed to stay current as a pilot all the way up until recently. I haven’t been able to fly as Secretary, so for the first time in years I am not current. They may not let me fly loops anymore, but I have to tell you, as you heard from Pat, as Secretary of State, I practically live, very happily, on a Boeing 757. And we have logged – (applause) – thank you. We have logged over 800,000 miles in a little bit over two years with a huge number of crises, as you know, and a major need to be in personal touch with people building relationships and working for the interests of our country.
But on that note, I figured, since I was here, I’d just come out and ask: Don’t you think I ought to be able to trade up? (Laughter.) I mean, don’t you have a spare Dreamliner parked somewhere around here? (Laughter.) I promise I’ll show it off all over the world – free publicity, just think of it. It’s a win-win, as they say in China.
All kidding aside, I am very, very pleased that the State Department, the Export-Import Bank, the Department of Commerce, as Gary knows, we’ve been able to work really hand-in-hand with Boeing, and we’re proud to do so to vigorously support your business – American business – overseas. And together we have helped facilitate tens of millions, billions of dollars – billions of dollars – in aircraft sales, everywhere from Indonesia, to Brazil, to Kenya, and I’m proud of that. I’ve personally been able to get on the phone with a prime minister or president – and I’m glad to say successfully on some occasions to be able to help close some deals. So I’m proud of those eight years of backlog and I hope it’s going to be 20 before you know it. I’m confident it will be because of the quality of the work you do. (Applause.)
Boeing is America’s leading exporter, one of our top employers, and an incredible innovator and competitor, and you all ought to be as proud of that as we are proud of you. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate place to visit on my way back from Asia to talk about our nation’s leadership role in the glowing – in the growing global economy. And it’s a critically important opportunity to strengthen the long-term security and shared prosperity of our country, and nothing is more important.
Back east, in the other Washington, the House – we’ll give them a moment to take off here. Everybody should cheer. There goes another one. (Cheering and applause.) Back east, in the other Washington, the House and Senate are considering a piece of legislation called the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act. I know, that’s a mouthful. But it boils down to whether President Obama should have the authority to conclude and put before Congress the two most significant trade agreements in our history – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the TPP – the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The TPP is currently made up of 12 countries along the Pacific Rim, including, obviously, the United States. The deal, which is in the final stages of negotiation, would encompass 40 percent of the world’s economy. And as with any complex agreement, my friends, there are many details to be hashed out, but the reasons why it is important are straightforward and sensible.
First of all, in the modern world, we can’t just expect our economies to grow if all we do is buy and sell to ourselves. It’s just not going to happen. Trade supports jobs and it builds prosperity – period. And the record of the past five, ten, fifty or a hundred years bears that out. As I speak, exports support about 11.7 million American jobs. And that number is only going to go up. Why? It’s pretty simple; it’s really simple math: 95 percent of the world’s consumers live beyond the borders of the United States. And if for some reason we just decide to give up and not to do business with them, to shut down because we think somehow it’s a loss of a job here, believe me, a lot of other people will welcome that at our expense.
And as a veteran of 28 years in the Senate, who voted on every trade agreement during that period, I know and understand the delicate relationship between the trade issue and American workers. For years, we built a consensus in America based on the argument that the benefits of trade would be passed up and down the economic food chain, benefitting everyone. I have to say that, regrettably, in recent years, the consensus for trade that was built on that principle – (sound of plane taking off) – (applause). Do you feel like that’s a baby leaving the family? (Laughter.) But it’s good. The consensus that allowed us to engage in trade through all those years, the principle that it was built on has actually become frayed, because not enough of the benefits are, in fact, being passed on. And the anger and frustration that has come from that has translated into opposition to trade itself, when the real focus ought to be on the other policy reforms that are necessary to address that concern. For example, on improving tax policy, on strengthening international labor and environmental standards, as is actually being done in these two deals that I’m talking about. The solution lies not in shutting the door to trade itself, but in transforming the system to make it work for everybody.
So let me be clear: If we pick the wrong culprit, we will cut off our nose to spite our face. And so as orders shift from us to the rest of the world’s producers, the result would be boarded-up windows and “going out of business” signs in places from one end of America to another. We could see dockworkers with pink slips in their hands instead of container ships steaming into and out of ports. We could even see aerospace companies shutting down some of those assembly lines because there’s been a reduction in the incentive for people to buy planes from our country. The truth is, the only people we know or I know who would benefit from a decision by the United States not to participate in the TPP would be international competitors. And believe me, they would be delighted.
Here in Seattle, you know this. You know this instinctively and you know it empirically too. In 1971, the city of Seattle was in such decline that one of the most famous billboards in our country read: “Will the last person leaving Seattle turn out the lights?” A little over 40 years later, the census bureau named Seattle the fastest-growing city in the United States of America. That transformation is thanks in part to the fact that your state is among the leading exporters in our union, with sales topping $90 billion in 2014 – more than a 200 percent increase from just a decade ago.
The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is our country’s fourth-largest export hub by volume. And even though Boeing tops the list, your state’s exports don’t just come from a handful of companies. Washington has more than 12,600 exporting firms whose sales abroad support about 400,000 jobs. And in addition to aircraft, the state is renowned for its software, its coffee products, its apples, its wheat, its fish, its wine, its machinery, and its lumber. And what is more, some of your top customers are among the 11 other countries participating in the TPP, including Japan, Canada.
So let’s be clear. Washington State is a trade leader because you discovered a long time ago that it’s in your best interest to do business with the world. Now, no one compelled this decision. No one compelled your predecessors to engage in lucrative trade deals. You saw the common sense of it. In fact, more than a century ago, the workers for a company right here in Renton were making railway cars for export to the Far East. And they did it because Seattle is the gateway to the Pacific and because it simply makes good economic sense to go where the customers are.
Guess what? That logic still holds today. And if you only sell to a limited market, believe me, your standard of living will stagnate or decline. Obviously, on its face, that’s not a very smart formula. The bottom line is that if we want to make it in America – in every respect make it – we have to sell what we make in America to partners across the equator and every part of the world, from pole to pole. And to give our firms the best chance to compete, my friends, we need agreements on trade.
So the rules of the road are clear. And this brings me to the second big reason why the Trans-Pacific Partnership is so vital: It will enable us to play a critical role in helping to determine the highest standard rules for trade.
In the United States, we’ve fought hard for years – it didn’t come easily; go back to the 1800s. Not everybody was treated the way they are today in the workplace. It was a hard-fought struggle. And for years we fought to make sure that workers were protected so that economic growth doesn’t come on the backs of exploited people. And we care that businesses adhere to environmental standards so that families continue to enjoy clean air and the water that they deserve, no matter how close they live to factories or to other industrial facilities. And we believe that rather than putting aside the things we care about in order to compete with the rest of the world in a low-standards race to the bottom, we should help bring the rest of the world up to meet the high standards by which American businesses now operate.
That is exactly what the legislation before Congress would allow us to do.
My friends, we can’t farm out to other nations the core interests of the United States of America. When it comes to the jobs of U.S. workers and the paychecks of U.S. families, we’ve got to be our own prime contractors; we can’t entrust to any other country the responsibility for preserving the American Dream.
Right now in the Asia Pacific, we have the chance to finalize a trade agreement that is truly unlike any other ever negotiated: an agreement where every participant has to comply with core international labor and environmental standards; where every participant has to refrain from using under-age workers and unsafe workplaces; where every participant has to ensure that nationally owned companies compete fairly with ones that are privately owned; and where every participant has to fight trade-related bribery and corruption, support legitimate digital trade, safeguards – intellectual property safeguards, and guarantees the promises that they make are promises that they have to keep, because they’re enforceable in the agreement. We didn’t have an agreement, none of that happens. That’s not a complicated choice. By any standard, the agreement that I just outlined is an historic trade agreement.
The TPP is not your grandparents’ trade agreement; it’s not your mom and dad’s trade agreement; it’s not even your older brother or sister’s trade agreement. This is a new, new entity, and ultimately, this is a 21st century agreement where the key understandings and high standards are baked right into the four corners of the text – not in a side agreement, not in a letter, but in the text of the agreement itself.
Now as you know, Congress has already begun a new round of deliberations on trade. Parts of the debate have been on related issues, but on the key question of whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be good for our country, the arguments against have been sincere, they’ve been passionate, but I have to say to you today that I believe they are also deeply flawed.
For example, opponents contend that Congress and the public haven’t had a chance to read the text of the proposed deal. Well, the truth is members of Congress, who were sent to Washington, D.C. to represent the public, have had access to it for years. Now, of course, some confidentiality, I think most of you understand, is required in any kind of multilateral negotiation. There are obvious reasons why we don’t release every single sentence every day as it’s being discussed. When you do that, words get distorted, arguments are undermined, and ultimately, consensus and a deal become much harder to arrive at. Even labor contracts and other contracts here in this country are more often than not done in a way that they’re negotiated and then presented to people.
And there’s one thing that I learned in this job from negotiating with friends and foes alike – it’s that you have the best chance of success when you’re not negotiating in public every day. It’s the only way to keep the process moving forward and to gain the concessions that we seek from other countries. Senators who are unhappy about this might recall the locked doors and closed windows that marked America’s constitutional convention 228 years ago, without which we wouldn’t even have a Senate today.
The important thing about the TPP, my friends, as with our Constitution, is that the final text will be made public. In fact, it will be posted online for a minimum of 60 days before President Obama even signs it. And only after the public has had a chance to review it would it then go before Congress for hearings and for a full and open debate in the United States Congress. My friends, that’s not secrecy at work; that’s democracy at work, and it’s the way we’ve done business in our country for a very long time.
A second argument we hear against TPP is that other countries could use it to dismantle America’s environmental standards, Wall Street reforms, minimum wage laws, food safety guidelines, and on and on. I have heard that argument about every single trade agreement that we’ve ever passed, and it has never happened. And if that were true, I can promise you I would oppose the agreement myself. But it’s not true. The agreement won’t take away any sovereign rights of our nation, of any nation. It’s not going to allow anyone to change our laws other than the United States Congress. Rest assured, with the TPP in place, we will retain our ability to protect our clean air and water, regulate our economy, and uphold all of the laws of our nation. And I have fought my entire career for many of those things, and I don’t intend to start undoing a lifetime of work now and turning my back on all of that overnight.
The third major argument that you hear against TPP is the standard line about outsourcing and globalization. Now, this is a kind of gut reaction that I respect. It reflects the real impacts that Americans feel sometimes as the result of technological and economic transitions that are always taking place in a nation on the move. It’s a genuine feeling, and I’ve talked to many workers in many states through the course of my career who have been affected by change, and many of you know them. Some of you may be them.
But I want to emphasize: This concern needs to be directed at the right target. Outsourcing occurs because of the mobility of capital and labor and market competition. And the remedy is not to pull back from trade agreements themselves or to attempt to stop globalization, because that’s not possible. Globalization has no reverse gear, my friends. As technology continues to evolve, as more and more people in the world have smartphones and look and listen to what people are doing and thinking in other countries, the world will become more interconnected, not less. And no politician anywhere in the world has the power to change people’s desires to be connected, to be part of the world, and in many ways to share what they see other people having that they want themselves.
So no matter how hard people may try to pretend otherwise, no matter how many politicians may stand up and appeal to the instinct to play to that fear, the fact is globalization is here to stay. No one can put that genie back in the bottle. What we can do is mitigate the negative impacts. And in the end, when you measure all the benefits against all the negatives, I believe the balance says it is absolutely a good thing for our nation and for the world.
From our nation’s earliest days, we have been trying to encourage more people – just think about this. For years, we’ve encouraged people: Embrace democracy, be like us, join capitalism, compete in the free market. We’ve urged them to adopt our economic system, our rules. We want people to support an open marketplace and capitalism and the free flow of investment. We deeply value the ability to start up a company, make a product, sell it worldwide, take a risk. That’s how we’ve always defined America. And we have argued for centuries that the most responsible role government can play is to respect commerce – not impose government will, but develop a framework of the core principles built on freedom – freedom to take a risk, freedom to invest, freedom to take the job you want – and then get government out of the way and let the private sector do what it does so well in this nation.
Well we now have nations around the world eager to embrace that or already embracing that. Their economic interests compel them to do so. They know it’s the only way that they can be competitive in today’s globalized world, and they don’t want to get left behind. We too have to accept the fact that changes to the global economic system will happen with us or without us. So instead of resisting change, we ought to be investing in our people in order to make sure we can take advantage of that change.
We have to continue taking critical steps that will make us more competitive and spread the benefits of globalization far and wide, including, as President Obama has proposed, through trade adjustment assistance, through lifelong learning, through support for innovation and research; from helping every young person to get a higher education, and from reauthorizing crucial institutions such as the Export-Import Bank, which are helping local, small manufacturers like the Measurement Technology Northwest Inc. and Engineered Compost Systems expand their global footprint abroad. We also need to help hire new workers to fill the export orders that are coming from new markets overseas, including from countries in the Asia Pacific, as we know and as Pat just mentioned to you.
More of us also need to share the confidence that our parents and our grandparents had when they built this country out of the ashes of war – and frankly, the confidence that so many young entrepreneurs are exhibiting today. Remember, just three decades ago, experts were predicting that competition from the Japanese on their semiconductors – remember this? – computers and cars would cause America to become, and I quote, “a nation of short-order cooks and salespeople.”
Today, Japan’s automakers have set up plants that support jobs for tens of thousands of workers here in America. And despite all of the publicity about outsourcing, in the past five years, our manufacturing sector has been growing at twice the rate of the overall economy. Sometimes it really amazes me, folks, how short the public memory is. A lot of people forget that only six years ago, when President Obama first took office, right before he took office, we were on the brink of economic disaster. Iconic companies were filing for bankruptcy. Unemployment was approaching 10 percent. Our entire financial structure was on the brink of collapse. And when I say this, I am not exaggerating. I’m just repeating what a Republican secretary of the treasury said when he came to the Capitol Hill to implore my Senate colleagues and I to authorize a bailout of the system. And today, while nobody is claiming victory yet, the United States has added 12.3 million jobs over 62 straight months of private sector growth – the longest streak on record. We’ve put more people back to work than all of the other advanced economies combined. And a big cause of this turnaround is that our experts have reached a – our exports have reached a record level. They are up nearly 50 percent since 2009.
That tells a story. And it’s no accident, folks. That’s the result of the most determined, competitive, entrepreneurial business and talented workers in the world. It’s also the result of some smart policy – policy that is based on the idea that when we increase what America sells overseas, our payrolls get larger, our paychecks get fatter. On the average, export-supported jobs pay significantly more than other jobs. So we’re talking quality jobs, not just quantity. And if we were satisfied with this progress, well, perhaps we could just sit back and forget about new trade agreements and the chance to further pry open the international markets where 19 out of 20 of the world’s consumers live. Try that.
Happily, we’re not satisfied. Because we know that even if we attempt to stand still, nobody else will, or most won’t. And we’re going to get blown away economically in the process. We have to keep finding new markets. We have to keep creating those new jobs. And we’ve got to ensure that our workers – farmers, ranchers, businesses – receive equitable treatment in that marketplace. We can’t do that, folks, by sitting on the sidelines. You can’t be on the side of the road while other countries are writing the rules of the road for the rest of the world’s trade. We’ve got to be engaged. We’ve got to lead. And by the way, most Americans inherently understand that.
A recent poll shows that almost three out of five of our citizens view foreign trade as an opportunity, not a threat. And here’s the reason: The U.S. market is one of the most open in the world. Seventy percent of U.S. imports cross our borders tariff-free. You’ve all seen these duty-free stores at airports, right? Well, America is pretty much one big duty-free shop. That’s not the case with all – excuse me – with all of our partners. Our automakers face tariffs of up to 30 percent in Malaysia. Our poultry farmers face tariffs of up to 40 percent in Vietnam. Washington apples are charged a markup of 17 percent in Japan. And what about the great wine that you produce here in Columbia and the Walla Walla Valley? Tariffs on wine in Japan and Vietnam are as high as 50 percent. Not only that, America’s environmental and labor standards are among the highest in the world.
And that’s why we have so much to gain and nothing to lose by reaching deals that lower trade barriers, lower the tariffs, raise global norms – and we should also remember that if we don’t clinch free trade agreements in the Asia Pacific, it doesn’t mean that those agreements may not happen. It just means that we may not be part of them and we may not shape them. The standards will be driven down instead of up, and the business we might have had will go to our competitors instead. Even now, Washington apples are losing out to Chinese apples in Malaysia because Beijing has a preferential trade agreement with that country and we don’t. And Japan and Australia just signed a pact that will allow Australian beef into the Japanese market at a lower tariff than American beef. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to sit here and watch. And I’m sure it doesn’t make a lot of sense to you.
It’s not just giant firms like Boeing, by the way, and Starbucks, and Costco, and Microsoft, and Amazon that we’re caring about here. Small and medium-sized businesses are really the linchpin of the American economy. In fact, they’re the source of two out of every three new jobs that we create in this country. But these firms also confront a unique set of challenges when they’re trying to increase exports. For example, the Cascade Design Company that is based in Seattle exports outdoor recreation equipment to some 40 countries. But it could sell far more if its customers didn’t have to pay high tariffs in exactly the markets that we will open through the TPP.
There’s a long list of examples like that; I’m not going to go through all of them. But the TPP will lower tariffs on American exports. It will ensure that TPP countries treat American products the same way that we treat products from their own firms. It will cut red tape. It will reduce bureaucracy for our small businesses and family farms. And it will help our companies participate more directly in new global supply chains that are creating unprecedented opportunities all around the world. When you add it all up, the economic case for trade promotion authority and for TPP is not even a close call in my judgment – it’s overwhelming. And as Secretary of State, let me put this in a perspective of global challenges.
It is no secret that the world in the future looks pretty complicated right now. The turbulence that we see comes from a combination of factors, including the fact that even as the world grows closer, there are powerful forces pulling people apart – terrorism, extreme nationalism, conflicts over resources, a huge number of people coming of age in parts of the world where there simply aren’t enough jobs. This creates a race between opportunity and frustration that we can’t afford to lose. Expanded trade can help us win that race by spurring innovation and – and as we’ve seen in Asia and elsewhere – helping hundreds of millions of people to lift themselves out of poverty. And poverty, my friends, is where you see much of this violent extremism born.
Just as important, trade agreements such as the TPP will help to knit America and our partners together so that we are better able to cooperate on other areas. It helps to create a community of common interests on trade that will reinforce trust and helps us expand our cooperation in other areas. And that matters, my friends, because the Asia Pacific is the single-most dynamic part of the globe today and where much of the history of this century is going to be written. It includes the four most populous countries, the three largest economies, and a huge and rapidly growing middle class that want to fly in the planes that you build here.
The good news is that our engagement in this region is welcome and making a difference because our partners know that our markets – and even our futures – are absolutely closely linked together. If we were to retreat from the Asia Pacific, and if our friends were in turn to turn their backs on us, we would face a much different world than we have known in recent decades. And it would not be a world that is more secure.
So let me be clear. We know that our goals in the Pacific are critical because we want what most countries in the region seek: a place where the sovereignty of every state is respected, whether they’re big or small; a region where disputes are settled openly and in accordance with rule of law. We – all of us frankly – can help make this happen if we’re as fully involved economically just as we are diplomatically. In fact, as my colleague Ash Carter, the Secretary of Defense, has suggested, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is as important to American interests in the Asia Pacific as our military posture. Completing the TPP would send a message throughout the region as well as the world that America is – and will continue to be – a leading force for prosperity and security in the Asia Pacific. That is good for the United States; it’s good for our trading partners; and it is definitely good for companies and workers here in the American Northwest.
So here’s the bottom line: 2015 is simply not the time for us to decide that trade negotiations are too hard, nor to – it’s not the time to vacate the field and ignore 70 years of lessons from the Great Depression and World War II. It’s not the time for us to sit back and allow the principles of free and open trade to be supplanted by the discredited and empty prospects of protectionism and mercantilism.
There is nothing progressive about blaming trade or trade agreements for the inevitable economic shifts that are brought on by technology and time. There is nothing liberal about clinging to the past when the future is filled with opportunities to innovate and create whole new industries. And there is nothing more in keeping with the traditions of Washington State – American traditions – than to look over the horizon for the connections that will create a stronger, more prosperous, and secure future for the people of this region and of all America.
My friends, more than 50 years ago, when Seattle hosted the World’s Fair, American exports were worth only about one-twentieth of their value today. In the decades since, our commercial relationships have been utterly transformed; our leading manufacturers have changed; our trade in service has exploded; and technology has made what was not even imaginable the new normal.
We are living in a wholly different world, an exciting time, except for one thing: the need for American leadership. Like the generation of Warren Magnuson and Henry “Scoop” Jackson, our generation faces a test that we cannot allow partisanship or any other source of internal division to prevent us from meeting. We have an opportunity before us to shape and elevate the global rules of trade for decades to come.
We cannot shy away from this task, just as we cannot walk backwards into the future. Like mariners; like sea hawks – with a small s (laughter); like the proud employees of Boeing; we need to face the world and all its challenges with the confidence in who we are, what we stand for, and our incredible ability to compete. That’s what we must do. And I am confident, as I look around this extraordinary manufacturing center, as I look at all of you, that the United States will get this done and Washington State is going to help us do it.
Thank you. (Applause.)