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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Humanitarian Crisis Looms In Puerto Rico; Trump Weighs Lifting Rules On Shipments To Puerto Rico; The Long Fight To Let Women Drive; Zuma Embroiled In Far-Reaching Scandal; Boeing-Bombardier Trade Row Goes Transatlantic; Corbyn: Cuff-Edge Brexit At Risk Of Becoming Reality. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 27, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome, everyone. Millions of American citizens are confronting a humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, but
U.S. President Donald Trump still seems to be more focused on his tax reform plan and his feud with the NFL. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The NFL is in a very bad box. You cannot have people disrespecting our national anthem,
our flag, our country, and that is what they are doing, and in my opinion, the NFL has to change or you know what's going to happen, their business is
going to go to hell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Welcome to the program, everybody. I'm Hala Gorani. The president is still talking about protesting football players there, but we
want you to know how serious the situation in Puerto Rico really is.
Nearly a 100 percent of the islands, 3.4 million residents, do not have power. Water, fuel and food are in desperately short supply. Now to be
fair, the president did tell how White House reporters he was considering lifting restrictions on shipments to Puerto Rico, which exist and are still
in place. That, of course, in order to get critical supplies onto the island more quickly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we are thinking about that, but we have a lot of shippers and a lot of people and a lot of people to work in the shipping
industry that don't want the Jones Act lifted and we have a lot of ships out there right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Now, Mr. Trump just arrived in Indiana. He'll preview his tax reform plan shortly there in Indianapolis. We'll bring you that live when
it happens. The schedule has this starting at 3:20 p.m. Eastern Time, which is 18 minutes from now and we will bring that you live as I said.
First, though, we want to focus on the latest from Puerto Rico. We have reporters across the island including our Rafael Romo in San Juan. He
joins me live. Jeremy Diamond is at the White House.
Rafael, I want to start with you first of all and let's talk about aid. Is it arriving? Are people able to get the basic essentials at this point?
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: There is a social disconnect, Hala. On the one hand, you hear officials saying that we have
sent multi-ton shipments of water and food, and they have arrived at port.
On the other hand, we go to the communities then we go to talk to people and they tell us, I have not received any aid since the hurricane hit, and
so one begins to wonder where is that food and what is happening.
We know because we have been there ourselves that many of the roads are impassable. A lot of the trees fell down. Power lines is very difficult
and very dangerous. But the reality is that we are talking to families who tell us I have been without power for more than a week now.
I have been without running water, and I have seen no official come here to at least tell us when those services are going to remain. Another major
problem developing here on the ground Puerto Rico, Hala, is security.
I had an opportunity to go to a supermarket today and the owner was telling me that his supermarket was looted during the storm. We have footage that
his CCTV system captured and you can see a mob of people, possibly hundreds of people looting the supermarket, breaking into the supermarket through
the front door and stealing away, listen to this, Hala, we are not talking about food necessarily.
We are talking about alcohol, cigarettes, computers, things that they could resell later, and so, it is a very difficult situation. I have to say,
though, that I had an opportunity to talk to a superintendent of police here in Puerto Rico.
She was telling me that they have officers on the streets that they have arrested 60 people for violating the curfew. There is 36 arrests for
looting, but based on what we have seen those numbers still seem like to low -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Rafael Romo in San Juan, thanks very much. We'll speak with you again soon.
Jeremy Diamond is in Washington, D.C. I wonder why is the president choosing to focus now on tax reform proposals. Obviously, his healthcare
initiatives failed. Is he trying to score an easy win and will it be easy?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This definitely will not be an easy feat to accomplish, but it's one that the president absolutely must
to show that he has done something in his first year in office, something substantive on the legislative front beyond the successful nomination of
Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
[15:05:10] As far as the questions of timing, of course, it does come during this situation that we are seeing in Puerto Rico that the president
yesterday in his White House were trying to show desperately that they were on top of releasing several pictures of the president doing a
videoconference with the governor of Puerto Rico.
The president saying yesterday that he plans to go to the island for the first time on Tuesday. This tax reform push, however, has been in the
works for months now and particularly over the last several weeks, Republicans and the president have been out there in public trying to pitch
this tax reform proposal, trying to sell at least the idea of doing a sweeping tax reform for the first time in decades.
They are up against another clock, though they are trying to get this tax reform proposal passed through Congress before the end of the year. That
is something that the president is working at.
He will be doing that today as he pitches it in Indiana where he's expected for the first time to offer some of these kind of details -- bringing down
the corporate tax rate to 20 percent is what the proposal calls for.
Also, reducing the number of income tax bracket that Americans have to deal with and other changes, including increasing the deductions that Americans
make on their tax reform forms as well as repealing the estate tax.
So, all of these changes expected to be discussed during the president's speech today in Indiana, which we would remind everyone is obviously also
the state where a Democrat, Senator Joe Donnelly, faces reelection in 2018. He is one of the key Democratic votes that the president will be pursuing
over the coming weeks.
GORANI: Now let us talk about the latest approval ratings for the president after his response to Hurricane Harvey. It ticked up to about 40
percent, but the most recent Quinnipiac poll has him underwater in many major issues including foreign policy. He's at 36 percent.
Now Jeremy this poll was conducted while his feud with the NFL was going on. I wonder if that hurt him.
DIAMOND: It certainly possible. Listen, this is a feud that we have seen -- you know, it's one of the kinds of feuds that we see this president
engaged in during his presidency. One that helps him rally support among his base at least.
The question is how does that actually affect his support among the general voting population and because this poll was conducted during that time,
it's a little bit unclear to see.
But what we do know is that the president has been getting high marks over the past few weeks for his handling of the hurricane -- hurricanes that
have struck Texas, Florida, and now the question is whether his response to the hurricane in Puerto Rico is going to be up to that same bar.
There are a lot of questions being asked. Some criticism that the White House is fielding about the pace of its recovery efforts. The president
and the White House are clearly trying to show that they are on top of it as he prepares to head over there himself.
GORANI: All right. We'll speak again soon. Jeremy Diamond is at the White House. Thanks very much. And as I mentioned, the president, Donald
Trump, is set to deliver those remarks on tax reform in just a few moments where we are hoping to get more details on what he is actually putting
You can see the live pictures from Indianapolis, Indiana. We will bring you those comments live when they begin. The expectation is that they'll
begin in about 12, 13 minutes time.
Let's turn our attention now to Saudi Arabia where the move to allow women to drive has been met with both keenness and controversy. As we told you
when we broke this news yesterday, a Royal proclamation has been issued to lift the ban by as early as June next year.
And while there has been some negative social media reaction from Saudi Arabia, a member of Jeddah's municipal council summed up how many women are
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RASHA HEFZI, JEDDAH MUNICIPAL COUNCIL MEMBER: It feels great actually because we have been waiting for this for years and just witnessing that
decision (inaudible) 2020, but it happened so fast and it feels great that I can take just my car and go to my company, go to the council and just
practice the daily life activities normally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Now Muna AbuSulayman is a Saudi television presenter and an advisory board member of the group, "Chime for Change." She joins me now
life from Riyadh with more on the historic shift.
Muna, I've known you a really long time. We've talked many times about women's rights in Saudi Arabia, including the very thorny one of women not
being allowed to drive in your country. How does it feel today after this royalty decree for you?
MUNA ABUSULAYMAN, SAUDI TV PRESENTER: Well, as everybody has been saying, this is a historic moment in the Saudi march towards equality. We are very
close to the finish line. There's very things that are left for women to feel that they have full equal citizenship rights to men.
But let me just tell you something about this movement. This is not a popular movement. This is not something that captured the imagination of
the Saudi women where they marched or they protest (inaudible).
[15:10:07] They were a few women about 30 years ago that decided this was a very important issue and they started protesting. They drove around. A
few others have carried on the (inaudible) those meetings.
But this was never a popular movement in the whole of Saudi Arabia, from east to west, south to north. So, this is what makes it historic. This
was a leadership decision that whether Saudi women as a whole wanted it or not. It was time --
GORANI: But why wouldn't they want it -- I don't understand why a woman wherever she lives wouldn't want the freedom to be able to move around
without, you know, being constrained by either a male guardian or the inability to obtain a driver's license.
ABUSULAYMAN: So definitely there is a lot of women who wanted it especially I have my own driver license, for example, from the U.S. But
there is lot of people who live outside of the city, people who have used to more slower traditional type of life that this was never something that
they were very interested in.
They've had male, you know, brothers, husbands. They would take Uber or Karim (ph), what we call our Saudi Uber, Karim (ph), and so this was not a
major issue. This was not -- it was not the same as, for example, when women joined the Shura (ph) where you felt that women really wanted to
participate in the Shura Council, which is our parliament.
ABUSULAYMAN: And so having this happen -- I'm just saying this was very similar to the educational reform in the 1960s where there was a lot of
conservatives that did not want women to have access to a free public education. And the king at that time said, you know what? It's going to
GORANI: But you are saying we are very close. Some people -- I would argue many people would disagree with you on that. For instance, just to
give our viewers a long list of the difficult journey to secure equal rights in a country like Saudi. Women there still can't open a bank
account without a permission from a man or divorce without a permission --
ABUSULAYMAN: No, no, that's not true. That is not true, Hala. Hala, Hala, that is not true. That is totally not true. So, let me tell you
what are the three things that women cannot do --
GORANI: Women can divorce without male consent in Saudi?
ABUSULAYMAN: Yes. It's called (inaudible). It's not called divorce. It's called (inaudible). When a woman divorces and have a different name
and that has caused a lot of confusion. You go to court and you ask for the divorce of the woman. But there are things that we don't have as Saudi
citizens. So, let me clear that up for people.
ABUSULAYMAN: We are unable to travel if you don't have a male guardian allow you to travel so most people get the five-year permission with their
five-year passport. This is something that we've also heard leadership is going to be changing.
Marriage is something or the religious marriage needs to have a legal guardian from the male legal guardian to approve of it and the third thing
is citizenship. Saudi women are still unable to give citizenship to their children if they are married to a non-Gulf citizen so an Arab who is not
from the Gulf states. These are really the three things that we have --
GORANI: But the one you bring up -- sorry to jump in, the one you bring you up about male guardianship, for instance, even to marry, to leave the
country, to many this seems outrageous that in 2017 a grown woman needs to ask permission sometimes of her own son to leave the country.
That's what I mean when you say we are close to the finish line and I hear you say that I think are we really?
ABUSULAYMAN: Exactly. That's what I'm saying -- yes, and so, this is something that the leadership has also said that they will lift and so we
are waiting for that. I imagine since the bigger hurdle was the driving.
That was the issue that has been in discussion for much longer. That's the issue that people have been talking about for a lot longer and that being
lifted opens up to the second promise.
Regarding marriage, a religious marriage needs a legal guardian. Civil marriage, you go to the courts as well. So, there is a big distinction
that most people have to be married in both.
GORANI: Now do you think that there is going to be -- because in Saudi Arabia, you obviously have the monarchy and you have a very strong and
important for the monarchy clerical religious conservative establishment.
They are probably not happy at all about this new development. Do you think there will be a backlash from them and if so, what form would it
ABUSULAYMAN: So, there's always going to be some kind of a segment of society that does not like progress, that does not like change. I do not
think they are that big. I do not think that what I am seeing on social media, a lot of the clergymen or the clergy are coming out and saying that
they support this.
[15:15:11] So, this is going to be very important to notice in the next couple of months, but also remember, a woman has a choice not to get her
driver license just like anywhere else in the world. This is not a mandatory, you know, mandate. It's giving women a choice to make that for
GORANI: Right. Well, that's -- I think that is what women who wanted this choice, have wanted all along, it won't be come into effect until June of
next year. All right. Thank you very much, Muna AbuSulayman joining us from Riyadh. We really appreciate your perspective this evening. Thank
I believe we can speak now with Fatima Baeshen, who is a spokesperson for the Saudi Embassy in Washington. Hello, Fatima. So, I was speaking with
Muna AbuSulayman and she was saying, you know, that this was a leadership initiative.
So, I guess my question to you is the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has been said he's the one pushing these reforms against the clerical
establishment, is that what's going on? Is that the tug of war inside Saudi right now?
FATIMAH BAESHEN, SPOKESWOMAN FOR SAUDI EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON: Well, I think we need to take a step back and look at this a little bit more
holistically. I'd like to echo the sentiments of his Royal Highness, the ambassador, Mohammed Bin Salman, who said that this is a historic moment in
But I think in parallel to that, this is a -- it is a big moment in Saudi history, but in parallel to that we -- women have been building up -- this
policy has kind of been building up to facilitate women's access into the public space.
First, for several years, we have seen women incrementally go into several different industries, enter into the politics, you know, their executive
appointments, the Saudi Stock Exchange is chaired by a woman.
The airports chaired by women. You know, women are participating as electors and electees (ph) in municipal elections. His Royal Highness,
King Salman, the Shura (ph) Council, the Consultative Council has women appointments to it as well.
So, I think this is a buildup of a continuum that's already been taking place over the last few years. It's a signal and indication of what is to
come. With respect to, as you mentioned --
GORANI: And what is to come -- but just what is to come because I think people has -- I'm sure you've seen on social media and elsewhere, people
say welcome to the 21st Century, Saudi Arabia. It's about time. That kind of reaction.
BAESHEN: I think it's important to keep in mind, his Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, on April 2016 announced Vision 2030 and under
the auspices -- Vision 2030 in the long-term, yes, an economic diversification plan.
But it's also underpinned by social and cultural reform part of -- within the vision there are targets to increase the circulation of women into the
workforce. And so, part of the barrier of women entering into the workforce has been mobility.
And so, facilitate -- actually issuing a decree that will allow women to obtain driver's license will facilitate achieving this target. That is one
aspect. But the other aspect that's really important to keep in mind is that the Saudi leadership is really following the signal from the society
in terms of what's happening organically.
And we've seen this in several different spheres and as the status of Saudi women evolves over the years, I think that the leadership is following up
with that with policy and I heard you in the last segment also -- I'm sorry I just wanted to add one more piece.
I heard you in the last segment discussing the guardianship system. So, as Muna had mentioned, there are a few challenges still with respect to the
guardianship system. But again, there was a decree issued in the spring to review the application of it.
And I think there is a huge difference between what the institutional policy of it is versus adhoc on the ground, how it's actually implemented.
GORANI: No. I get that it's not always applied and you can apply for a five-year with your passport. I get all that, but it's in the books. In
other word if a man wants to control the movements of a woman, he can.
BAESHEN: But I think we need to make a distinction --
BAESHEN: I think there's a distinction there between kind of adhoc -- you know, things that are defined within a microcosm versus what the leadership
is kind of looking to facilitate in terms of access for the broader society.
And again, the government -- you know, Saudi Arabia is a dynamic country. It has a spectrum of opinions that exist within it and so, you know, there
is a respect for the conservative leaders.
Also, you know, this -- and this decree, this policy now allowing women to get driver's license is facilitating access and facilitating choice for
women if they choose to do it, but it's not forced upon them.
GORANI: But here's also, another criticism I have read quite a bit online, you know, Saudi Arabia has come under a lot of criticism by human rights
organizations for what it is doing in Yemen that this amounts in some cases to major abuses on civilian populations.
And there is the push for a U.N.-backed independent commission to investigate what's going on there and this is in a few days Saudi Arabia is
trying to block this. Do these announcements that are crowd pleasers in some ways, are they a diversion from Yemen?
[15:20:10] BAESHEN: Please let me assure you that what's happening in Saudi Arabia right now in terms of the social changes happening on the
ground is not optics or diversion. This is kind of the percolation of organic activity that's been happening already.
And we've seen this again, as I mentioned, in several different spheres so, you know, in the area of entertainment, for example, for years, Saudis have
been having, you know, private concert -- comedy shows and now there is an entertainment authority that is there to institutionalize the policy around
and develop this industry organically. So, this is beyond optics. It is far beyond optics.
GORANI: Fatimah Baeshen, thanks very much, a spokesperson for the Saudi Embassy in Washington. Thanks for joining us on CNN.
A lot more to come this evening, Donald Trump speaks on one of his key policy initiatives, tax reform, but will he again wade into the controversy
with the NFL? We'll bring you his remarks live coming up.
GORANI: A major government corruption scandal sparked protest marches and a labor strike across South Africa today. The country's largest trade
union called on its members to walk off the job and join the demonstration.
We see the images there, big crowds on the street. Protesters are angry about accusations against President Jacob Zuma that his wealthy friends use
their influence to win state contracts and line their pockets. The protests turned into loud calls for the president to step down.
David McKenzie joins us now from Johannesburg with more. David, I wonder why now because these allegations and accusations have been floating around
for a while. Why is today -- was there a catalyst today?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think there's been a catalyst in recent weeks, Hala, with the accusations about President
Jacob Zuma and alleged corruption really coming to a head because of the series of leaked e-mails really implicating major multinationals as well as
members of Jacob Zuma's family and cohorts in tens of millions of dollars in alleged corruption.
And that kind of day expose in the local press has led to this anger, swelling, certainly, and these extraordinary scenes in South Africa. You
know, we are pretty used to strike here in South Africa, but this was from the group, the major trade union, that is aligned with President Jacob
Zuma's party and usually part of the ruling alliance calling specifically for the president to step down -- Hala.
GORANI: So, it's significant then to say if it's a union usually aligned with Zuma that they are out on the streets. How much could this weaken
[15:25:06] MCKENZIE: Well, I tell you it will weaken his position. Whether it will force him to step down outside the onset to that is no.
Certainly, what these ongoing corruption scandals, President Zuma has kind of brush them aside every time, has survived the just recently a vote of
no-confidence in Parliament to just.
So, you had this pressure building amongst his partners from society, from regulators, but rarely the president of South Africa has every time ignored
those fees and looked to his own self-interest.
This is all leading up, Hala, to a major and see elective conference in December where a new ruler of the anti will be chosen. It won't be
President Zuma and that could be the key moment to see whether the chips fall as it were against him or with someone who is aligned to him continue.
But people warn, analysts warn that the economy in South Africa, the political stability of South Africa hinges on whether President Zuma stays
influential or (inaudible) -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. David McKenzie, thanks very much.
A trade dispute between an American and a Canadian company is about to have major ramifications in Northern Ireland, and a massive political headache
for British Minister Theresa May.
The U.S. Commerce Department has sided with Boeing recommending a massive tariff on the sale of jets from Canadian firm, Bombardier. Not a good news
for Northern Ireland, why you ask? That's where thousands of workers could be affected.
Theresa May lobbied hard for this not to happen. Remember she is propped up by small Northern Irish party in parliament. Without them, she doesn't
have a majority.
Let's get more now with Diana Magnay. She joins me live in the studio. Let's first talk about why she lost this then. She was desperately trying
to keep this from happening.
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She is specifically called Donald Trump last month to beg that he would make sure that this does not happen and
what happened yesterday, they slapped a 220 percent import duty on these particular (inaudible) jets that Bombardier makes.
And the factory in Bellefonte make the wings so there are over 4,000 jobs associated with Bombardier in Northern Ireland. It's the biggest
manufacturing employer in Northern Ireland. There are thousands of those jobs specifically tied to this program.
And the fact that she did not manage to persuade Donald Trump in any way whatsoever doesn't really bode well for her bargaining position
constructing new trade deals post-Brexit either.
I think that is why you've really not heard much from the "leave" campaign about this deal, which is putting so much pressure on her right now.
GORANI: Right. I'm sure they'd rather not talk about it at this point. Theresa May has spent the summer dealing as we have been discussing over
the last few months with infighting with -- in her cabinet.
Jeremy Corbyn is the Labour leader. There is a big Labour Party conference. This is what he had to say about her government. Listen.
GORANI: That was first reception Mr. Corbyn got of his party conference speech and he wasted no time in criticizing Theresa May.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: We are now less than 18 months away from leaving the European Union and so far, the Tory trio leading the
talks have got nowhere and agreed next to nothing. This rag-tight cabinet spends more time negotiating with each other than they do with the European
Union. A slippage Brexit is at risk of become a reality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. Jeremy Corbyn there. So, is Jeremy Corbyn -- I mean, what's his political ambition here? There isn't an election planned for
the next several years, but could we see a Prime Minister Corbyn?
MAGNAY: Well, if the election -- if there was an election tomorrow, you probably would. I mean, this is really his moment. You know, he knows
that he can play on the Tory Party weakness, and this extraordinary cult that has been generated basically around Jeremy Corbyn, I mean, a year ago,
he wouldn't have expected to have a Labour Party so convinced of his success --
GORANI: There was a rebellion within his own party.
MAGNAY: Exactly. But then Theresa May called that snap election and did so spectacularly (inaudible) in it that Jeremy Corbyn now found their high
and mighty. It really does look like a sort of government in waiting and that definitely what he was trying to -- the message he was putting across
at this conference and his message to the Tory's was pull yourself together or make way.
Now, of course, there isn't going to be an election until 2022, but there are enough people snapping Theresa May's heels in her own cabinet and now
she has a very strong opposition leader who she is inadvertently strengthened herself by calling that election.
GORANI: All right. Stressful times for Theresa May. And as you mentioned, a lot of pressure on her.
Thanks so much, Diana Magnay, with the latest on that. A lot more to come. As I mentioned, Donald Trump is speaking shortly on one of his key policy
initiatives, tax reform, after another defeat on repealing and replacing Obamacare.
But will he wade into the controversy with the NFL? We'll be right back.
GORANI: President of the United States Donald Trump in Indianapolis. He is going to deliver a speech on tax reform. Let's listen in.
TRUMP: Thank you.
(APPLAUSE) Thank you.
Thank you very much.
You just want massive tax cuts; that's what you want. That's the only reason you're going so wild.
But it's wonderful to be back in the great state of Indiana. What a place.
I want to thank Senator Todd Young, Senator Joe Donnelly, Representative Jackie Walorski, Representative Susan Brooks and Representative Mike Master
(ph) for joining us today. Thank you very much. Thank you very much for being here. Appreciate it.
I also want to thank members of my economic team, Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Director Gary Cohn for joining us as well. We appreciate it.
Let me begin by saying that our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, who are suffering in the wake of yet
another catastrophic hurricane. Their island was virtually destroyed. Federal agencies are working closely with local partners to help these
communities get back on their feet as soon as possible. Texas, Florida, Louisiana are doing great, and the recovery process is happening very, very
I will be going down to Puerto Rico next week to get an on the ground briefing about the disaster recovery, and to see all of our great first
responders, and to meet a lot of the people who were so affected by these storms.
We are with you now, I tell them. And we will be there every step of the way until this job is done. It is truly catastrophic, what happened in
And massive amounts of water, food and supplies, by the way, are being delivered on an hourly basis. It's something that nobody's ever seen before
-- from this country, I can tell you that.
And I'm very proud of all of the folks that have worked so hard in FEMA, all of our first responders, all of our police that have gone to the
island, because their police force has been so badly affected. And many of their policemen -- in fact, most of the police people have lost their
homes. And it's been a tough go. But we are -- we're going to get it back.
TRUMP: Before we go on to discuss the largest tax cut in our country's history. I also want to provide a brief update on health care. We have the
votes on Graham-Cassidy, but with the rules of reconciliation, we're up against a deadline of Friday, two days. That's just two days. And yes- vote
senator -- we have a wonderful senator, a great, great senator, who is a yes vote, but he's home recovering from a pretty tough situation. And with
so many great features, including all of the block granting, the money to the states, et cetera, et cetera. Our health care plan is really going to
be something excellent. It's going to be better managed for the people that it serves.
Having local health care representatives is far better than having health care managed from Washington, D.C.
Not even a contest.
And many, many governors, as you also see, have agreed with us and approved it and really look forward to running it properly.
But again, because the reconciliation window is about to close, we have to wait a few months until it reopens before we take a vote. So we're getting
all of the good signs from Alaska and the others to repeal and replace Obamacare. And I was hoping this would be put on my desk right after we won
the election, and I'd come in and sign. But it didn't work that way and a couple of people that -- I won't say anything...
... but early next year, when reconciliation kicks back in, in any event, long before the November election, we're going to have a vote and we're
going to be able to get that through. I think we'll actually get it through very easily, and the time makes it easier.
But speaking of reconciliation, the Republican Senate needs to get rid of the filibuster rule, which is blocking so many great legislative reforms
the American people badly want and deserve. By the way, the Democrats, they had the opportunity, which hopefully they won't for many, many years, they
would get rid of it on day one. And most of you know exactly what I'm talking about.
We're here today in Indiana to announce our framework to deliver historic tax relief to the American people.
This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and I guess it's probably something I can say that I'm very good at. I've been waiting for this for a
long time. We're going to cut taxes for the middle class; make the tax code simpler and more fair for everyday Americans; and we are going to bring
back the jobs and wealth that have left our country and most people thought left our country for good.
We want tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro- family and yes, tax reform that is pro-American.
It's time to take care of our people, to rebuild our nation, and to fight for our great American workers.
Indiana is a tremendous example of the prosperity that is unleashed when we cut taxes and set free the dreams of our citizens. This state has claimed a
power competitive edge, built on low taxes and less regulation -- and are we cutting regulation?
And businesses all across the country have taken notice. In recent years, Indiana has welcomed dozens of companies fleeing high taxes in high-tax
states. Thousands of new jobs and massive capital investment have followed, meaning a better quality of life for the people of Indiana.
All of this is possible because the people of this state have made a decision. They chose to make Indiana competitive again. They chose and
their choice was so important. It included electing a governor who you may have heard of, who signed the largest income tax cut in the state's
history, our very, very terrific person and terrific vice president, Mike Pence.
It's time for Washington to learn from the wisdom of Indiana. We need Washington to promote American jobs instead of obstructing them. That is
what I've been working to achieve every day since I took office. That is what I talked about on the campaign trail. Already, we're seeing the
results of an economic policy that finally puts America first.
Unemployment is at a 16-year low. Unemployment for African Americans is near its lowest point since the turn of the millennium. Really, a fantastic
thing to see. (APPLAUSE)
Wages are rising; optimism among manufacturers has reached all- time highs. GDP growth last quarter reached three percent, way ahead of schedule.
Nobody thought that was going to happen for a long time.
And this quarter, I believe would have been better, but the hurricanes will have an impact. But other than that, it would have been, in my opinion,
even better. Your government is working for you once again, not for the donors, not the special interests, but the hard-working taxpaying citizens
of our country.
America is back on the right track, and I see so many red hats -- make America great again; that's what we're doing -- make America great again.
But our country and our economy cannot take off like they should unless we dramatically reform America's outdated, complex and extremely burdensome
tax code. It's a relic; gotta change it. We have to compete -- compete with other countries. The current tax system is a colossal barrier standing in
the way of America's economic come-back, because it can be far greater than it's ever been.
TRUMP: But we're going to remove that barrier to create the tax system that our people finally, finally, finally want and deserve. For several months,
my administration has been working closely with Congress to develop a framework for tax reform. Over the next few months, the House and Senate
will build on this framework and produce legislation that will deliver more jobs, higher pay, and lower taxes for middle-class families, for the
working man and woman and for businesses of all sizes.
I look forward -- thank you.
I look forward to working with Congress to deliver these historic tax cuts and reforms to the American people. These tax cuts are significant. There's
never been tax cuts like what we're talking about.
Our framework is based on four key ideas. First, we will cut taxes for the everyday hardworking Americans, the people that work so long, so hard, and
they've been forgotten. But they're not forgotten anymore. I think we proved that on November 8th.
Under this framework, the first $12,000 of income earned by a single individual will be tax free.
And a married couple won't pay a dime in taxes on their first $24,000 of income. So a married couple, up to $24,000, can spend their money on their
family, on their children, on what they have to do -- so much better.
In other words, more income for more people will be taxed at a rate of zero.
At this zero percent rate, taxable income will be subject to just three tax rates of 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. Jonathan Blanton (ph) and
his wife Jamie (ph) from Greentown are here with us today.
Where are they? (APPLAUSE)
Oh, hello, Jonathan (ph), how are you?
Jonathan does industrial janitorial work and Jamie works at an auto company. Together they're raising four beautiful children. And last year
they earned less than $90,000. Under our tax plan they would have saved more than $1,000, and could be substantially more, and that's just on
federal taxes. So they would of saved at least $1,000.
Middle-income families will save even more money with an increased child tax credit for children under the age of 17, which so many families have
been calling for.
We will eliminate the marriage penalty in the existing credit and expand eligibility to include even more middle-income families, greatly expanded.
We're also expanding the child tax credit because we believe the most important investment our country can make is in our children.
And this is just one more critical way that we're targeting relief to working families.
TRUMP: In addition, under our framework, those caring for the elderly loved -- and we love these people. But we're caring and we take such care of the
elderly and other adult dependents will receive financial relief in the form of a $500 tax credit.
We're doing everything we can to reduce the tax burden on you and your family, by eliminating tax breaks and loopholes, we will ensure that the
benefits are focused on the middle class, the working men and women, not the highest-income earners.
Our framework includes our explicit commitment that tax reform will protect low-income and middle-income households, not the wealthy and well-
connected. They can call me all they want; not going to help. I'm doing the right thing and it's not good for me, believe me.
But what is good for me not only as president and legacy (ph), what is good for me is if everything takes off like a rocket ship, like it should have
for 20 years. That's good for me. That's good for everyone.
And that's what I think is going to happen. And a lot of very wealthy people feel the same way, believe me. In fact, we are eliminating most
itemized deductions that primarily benefit the wealthiest taxpayers. We've also given Congress the flexibility to add an additional top rate on the
very highest-income earners to provide even more tax relief for working people.
Second, our framework will make the tax code simple, fair and easy to understand finally. Americans waste money...
... Americans waste so much money, billions and billions of dollars and many hours each year to comply with our ridiculously complex tax code. More
than 90 percent of Americans use assistance to prepare their taxes. Under our framework, the vast majority of families will be able to file their
taxes on a single sheet of paper.
We are also repealing the alternative minimum tax, or AMT.
The AMT is actually a shadow tax system that requires many people to calculate their taxes two different ways, and pay the higher of the two
amounts. You're all familiar with it. Under our framework, the AMT will make even less sense because we are repealing many of the special interest
tax breaks that it was designed to deal with. We are making our taxes simple again. We are simplifying our tax system.
To protect millions of small businesses and the American farmer, we are finally ending the crushing, the horrible, the unfair estate tax, or as it
is often referred to, the death tax.
That means especially for all of you with small businesses that are really tremendous businesses, you'll be able to leave them to your family and your
family won't have to run out and do a fire sale to try and get the money to pay the tax; lose the business; ends up going out of business; all of those
jobs are lost. The farmers in particular are affected. They have wonderful farms, but they can't pay the tax. So they have to sell the farm. The
people that buy it don't run it with love. They can't run it the same way and it goes out.
So that death tax is a disaster for this country and a disaster for so many small businesses and farmers, and we're getting rid of it.
Now, if you don't like your family, it won't matter.
But for those that love your family, it matters a lot.
With us today is Kip Tom, a family farmer from Leesburg. Where's Kip? Good, Kip. Hi, Kip.
... who fears that his family's farming heritage -- it's been a long time. How long, Kip?
TRUMP: ... 187 years. That's peanuts, Kip.
(APPLAUSE) Wow, that's a long time. But that great heritage could come to an end because of the death tax or the estate tax. And could make it
impossible for him to pass that legacy to his wonderful family. We're not going to let that happen. We are not going to allow the death tax to steal
away the American Dream from these great, great families, many of which are in this room today.
We will protect our farmers, our ranchers, and our small businesses and we will make taxes simple, easy and fair for all Americans. OK?
Third, we will cut taxes on American businesses to restore our competitive edge and create more jobs and higher wages for American workers.
In Indiana, you have seen first-hand that cutting taxes on businesses makes your state more competitive and leads to more jobs and higher paychecks for
your workers. Now, we want to do the same thing for America, making our country more competitive with other nations, and in many cases those other
nations are taking advantage of us in so many ways. They say they're friends, and perhaps they are, but believe me, I am renegotiating our trade
deals, including NAFTA, including many other trade deals.
And through regulation -- all you have to do is look at the massive pipelines -- Dakota Access. You take a look -- 48,000 jobs immediately
approved. So we're letting that happen.
But in terms of the tax -- the tax strategy that Ronald Reagan used to create an economic boom in the 1980s when our economy took off, the middle
class thrived. And the family income of all families was increasing more and more, and it was a beautiful sight to behold.
Since then, other nations have adopted, unfortunately, our playbook, and ran it even better than we did. And I shouldn't say "even better," because
we didn't run it well at all, and we let other nations come in and take advantage of us and take our jobs away and take our businesses out. And
we're stopping that. And you see it right here what we've done.
Today, our total business tax rate is 60 percent higher than our average foreign competitor in the developed world. That's not good.
We have surrendered our competitive edge to other countries, but we're not surrendering anymore. We're not surrendering anymore.
Under our framework, we will dramatically cut the business tax rate so that American companies and American workers can beat our foreign competitors
and start winning again.
We will reduce the corporate tax rate to no higher than 20 percent. That's way down from 35 and 39.
Which is substantially below the average of other industrialized nations. This is a revolutionary change, and the biggest winners will be the
everyday American workers as jobs start pouring into our country, as companies start competing for American labor, and as wages start going up
at levels that you haven't seen in many years.
When our companies move to other countries, it's our loyal American workers who get hurt, and when companies stay in America and come to America it's
our wonderful workers who reap the rewards.
And I just left the United Nations last week, and I was told by one of the most powerful leaders of the world that they are going to be announcing, in
the not too distant future, five major factories in the United States. Between increasing and new, five.
You'll be hearing about that very soon.
And I said, thank you very much. And he said, you know what, it's starting to happen in the United States; it's starting to happen.
So I just wanted to let you know that. I promised I wouldn't say who, I'll keep my word, OK?
Unless you force me.
Members of both parties -- it happens to be in the automobile industry. That's a good (inaudible).
Members of both parties should agree that we need a tax code that keeps job in our country and brings jobs back to our country.
And for the millions of small business and farms that file their taxes as sole proprietors, S Corporations or partnerships, we will cap the tax rate
they pay at 25 percent. Much lower. Big difference.
(APPLAUSE) This will be the lowest top marginal income tax rate for small and midsized businesses in this country in more than 80 years.
Tos give businesses even more reason to boost their investment in America, for the next five years our framework will allow to fully write-off --
listen to this -- the cost of equipment in the year they buy it. That is big.
And that's instead of having to take deductions and deduct the cost over a long period of time. Now that's called incentive.
TRUMP: That's called incentive.
This will be tremendously important to help American businesses afford the heavy industrial machinery and other capital investments they need to grow
big and grow strong.
Joining us today is John Gannon, the owner of a custom wood fencing and deck construction company in Indianapolis.
John is the father of nine children, and recently celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary. Congratulations, John.
And John is in the fencing company, as you heard. And I'm just thinking -- I have to mention this. You know we have a fence around the White House.