Trump touts investment and jobs in infrastructure push

The president claimed that millions of jobs will result from foreign investment.

June 7, 2017, 2:43 PM

— -- Speaking from the shore of the Ohio River in Cincinnati for an address on the nation's infrastructure, President Donald Trump touted the hundreds of billions of dollars he claimed to have attracted from deals overseas and the "millions of jobs" to be created from a focus on domestic investment.

After running for the presidency on his reputation as a shrewd negotiator, the author of "The Art of the Deal" promoted his actions during his first foreign trip two weeks ago to drive the United States' economy.

"I've just returned from a trip overseas that secured more than $350 billion of military and economic investments into the United States," said Trump. "That means millions of jobs."

ABC News has found that one of the deals finalized during Trump's trip two weeks ago, a claimed $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, only secured $25 billion in its present state, with the remaining future sales not guaranteed.

The president also cited efforts he has made to kickstart infrastructure projects -- thought to be a component of his agenda where bipartisan agreement can be reached.

"We spend trillions and trillions of dollars outside of our nation, but we can't build a road a highway, a tunnel, a bridge in our own nation and we watch everything falling into disrepair," said Trump. "It's time to rebuild our country to bring back our jobs to restore our dreams and yes, it's time, finally, to put America first."

Two such undertakings mentioned Tuesday, the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, have faced opposition from Democrats however over environmental concerns. Trump has brushed aside such worries in favor of the potential economic boosts from environmental deregulation on numerous occasions, most recently with last week's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. In Cincinnati, he claimed the Keystone pipeline will lead to 48,000 jobs.

TransCanada, the company that will operate the pipeline, and the State Department each estimated the creation of about 42,000 jobs -- mostly tied to short-term roles in the regions surrounding construction sites -- as a result of the pipeline's development, with only about 2,000 jobs per year being pipeline construction positions, about 50 of which would be permanent.

Referencing the Paris Agreement early in his remarks Wednesday, Trump forcefully asserted the independence of his administration and the country as a whole.

"We will keep our nation so great and so strong and we will never have outside forces telling us what to do and how to do it," said Trump.

A day before former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the circumstances that led to his controversial firing in the midst of the bureau's investigation of potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the presidential election, Trump mostly stayed on topic as he hammered the condition of U.S. infrastructure.

"In my campaign for president, I traveled all across the nation. I saw the crumbling infrastructure. I met with communities that were desperate for new roads and new bridges," said Trump. "Bridges were so dangerous, they couldn't use them. They were worried that they would fall down. You've seen that happen."

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