After a meeting in Milwaukee was abruptly canceled, President Donald Trump met Thursday with a group of Harley-Davidson employees, who arrived at the White House on a fleet of motorcycles.
Trump was planning to meet Thursday with Harley-Davidson executives at a Milwaukee factory, but the company reportedly pulled out earlier this week, fearing protests.
During Thursday’s meeting, Trump lauded Harley-Davidson as a "true American icon,” thanking the steel workers and machinists who traveled to Washington for the meeting.
“In this administration our allegiance will be to the American workers and to American businesses, like Harley-Davidson,” Trump told reporters.
Throughout the press conference, Trump pushed his America first, pro-business agenda, championing changes to the tax code and pushing an overhaul of the healthcare system.
“We’re gonna be competitive with anybody in the world,” Trump said.
Trump also emphasized the use of tariffs and promised to restructure existing trade deals, claiming America is being taken advantage of.
“We have to make America the best country on earth to do business and that’s what we’re in the process of doing,” Trump said. “We’re redoing [the North American Free Trade Agreement], we’re doing a lot of our trade deals. And we’re negotiating properly with countries, even countries that are allies."
On Thursday, Trump complained about a deal that former President Barack Obama struck to accept roughly 1,600 refugees from Australia. The president reportedly had a "blunt" conversation Wednesday with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull, NBC News reports. Nevertheless, White House spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed Wednesday that Trump had agreed to honor the deal, according to the report.
“A previous administration does something, you have to respect that," Trump said. "But you can also say, why are we doing this. That’s why we’re in the jams that we’re in.”
Trump conceded that the country has some “wonderful allies,” but insisted that America has to be “treated fairly.”