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Remarks by Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross at Elite Well Services in Artesia, New Mexico


Introduced by Claire Chase, Member of Elite Well Services’ Board of Directors

Thank you, Claire, for that kind introduction. It is my honor to be here with Vice President Pence and with a company doing so much to improve the fortunes of so many people in New Mexico and throughout America. You are providing the country with the energy independence that has eluded us since the first Arab Oil Embargo almost 50 years ago. Congratulations.

For decades, people said it could never be done: Our reserves were finite and depleted, and we would forever be dependent on foreign oil. The same can be said about NAFTA: They doubted we would renegotiate a trade deal that had been in place for 25 years. Well, President Trump has kept his campaign promises, and is delivering an even better USMCA. And just as critics couldn’t predict the renewal of our energy industry or the renegotiation of an outdated trade agreement, they were oblivious to the importance of our manufacturing sector.

The oil and gas being produced here in the Permian Basin is generating massive investments in new production facilities, chemical plants, LNG terminals, along with jobs and new opportunities for Americans. In 2017 and 2018, the United States added more than 9,500 new factories, manufacturing more goods that can be exported to more customers throughout the world. And the best news of all is that for the first time in 70 years, the United States will be a net exporter of energy starting in 2020. That is why the USMCA is so important right at this moment.

We have more products to sell to the rest of the world — not just energy and your services, but the chemicals, cars, consumer goods, and more of everything being Made in the USA, thanks to your success in the oil patch. Vice President Pence has been an ardent and tireless supporter of American manufacturing, American energy, American exports, American workers, and American jobs. He comes from a state that makes things. He is fully committed to creating a business climate that is inducive to investment, growth, and new job creation.

He and President Trump are standing up for domestic producers. With a trade agenda based on America First, we are prying open foreign markets for your goods and services. The United States Mexico Canada Agreement does just that. We have a President who has kept his campaign promises and has renegotiated a flawed North America Free Trade Agreement with a far better USMCA. It is a big win for all three countries. But it’s a bigger win for you, and for workers and businesses in New Mexico. That is why we are here. For your sake, and the country’s, we need Congress to pass the USMCA.

Thank you.