President Donald Trump visited St. Louis Wednesday for a tour of Boeing and a roundtable discussion with Missouri business leaders.
The president landed just before 2:20 and was greeted at the airport by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley along with supporters. Trump spent 10-15 minutes shaking hands with and talking to supporters before heading to Boeing headquarters.
Trump toured Building 75, which is the site of final assembly for fighter planes. Joining him on the tour was Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Boeing’s top executives, including president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg.
Following the tour, he addressed the assembled crowd with remarks about his tax plan and the benefits seen by Missouri businesses.
“A few years ago, this plant was in very serious danger of shutting down and we got it going again. Maybe going better than it’s ever gone before” Trump said. “We are keeping thousands of Americans employed right here in St. Louis, a great place. A place that was really good to me.”
Boeing announced after the tax plan passed it intended to spend $300 million on improving the company, pledging to provide $100 million in employee-matching gifts, $100 million for workforce development, training and education and $100 million toward improvements in the workplace.
A senior White House official said Tuesday Trump has a special attachment to Missouri, as his first event centered on his tax plan was in Springfield and he then returned to stump for the plan in St. Charles in November of last year. AIM president and CEO Ray McCarty was present at both events.
“We are proud President Trump has reinforced the importance of Missouri by visiting the state three times, all centered around promoting the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017,” said McCarty. “The tax cut has been and will be used by Missouri companies to provide additional benefits to workers and shareholders, both directly and indirectly, through increased wages and bonuses, and to re-invest in infrastructure,” he said. “These investments in physical capital and human capital will pay great dividends in the future and we are pleased the president and Congress pushed forward with this tax cut that benefits all Americans.”
The president also spoke about Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet, which he has been a proponent of for some time. He recently asked Congress to approve 24 new F-18’s for the Navy, each one at a cost of $60 million.
The centerpiece of the president’s visit was a roundtable discussion on the impact his tax cuts had on Missouri businesses. This panel included College of the Ozarks, Kansas City Power and Light, Mid-Am Metal Forming, Dynamic Fastener, Central Bancompany, Hawthorn Bank, Great Southern Bank, Kansas City Southern Railway, Hunter Chase and Associates, and Boeing.
Representatives from the companies took turns talking about the benefits the tax plan had on their businesses and explained what they did with the savings. Many talked about the ability to give employees bonuses, and a few companies had workers speak about how they used the bonus money.
Following the roundtable, which concluded at 3:45, Trump left the facility.
Earlier this year, Boeing’s CEO made a statement on the passage of the Trump tax reform.
“On behalf of all of our stakeholders, we applaud and thank Congress and the administration for their leadership in seizing this opportunity to unleash economic energy in the United States. It’s the single-most important thing we can do to drive innovation, support quality jobs and accelerate capital investment in our country.”
“For Boeing, the reforms enable us to better compete on the world stage and give us a stronger foundation for the investment in innovation, facilities and skills that will support our long-term growth.”