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America thriving, 'highly respected again' under my watch: Donald Trump

The US president said that under his leadership, jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Donald trump
Donald Trump | Photo: Reuters

Making a strong pitch for his re-election amidst his impeachment trial, President said that has staged a "great comeback" and the country was "highly respected again" as he boasted about the "unimaginable" economic growth under his watch.

At his third annual State of the Union address, Trump set out his case for another four years in office, saying that in just three short years, his administration has shattered the mentality of American decline and rejected the downsizing of the country's destiny.

"We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going back," an upbeat Trump said in his 78-minute prime time address to a joint session of Congress.

His address came hours before the ruling Republican Party-led Senate is expected to acquit the 73-year-old president on Wednesday in the high-profile impeachment trial. The Democratic Party-led House of Representatives has already impeached Trump and charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Trump is accused of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to probe his political rival and former US vice president Joe Biden, a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, to dim his electoral fortune.

The US president said that under his leadership, jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, crime is falling, confidence is surging, and "our country is thriving and highly respected again."

"Three years ago, we launched the great American comeback. America's enemies are on the run, America's fortunes are on the rise and America's future is blazing bright," he added.

Trump underlined the country's economic gains under his leadership, asserting that "the American Dream is back" and is "stronger than ever before".

"The years of economic decay are over. The days of our country being used, taken advantage of, and even scorned by other nations are long behind us. Gone too are the broken promises, jobless recoveries, tired platitudes, and constant excuses for the depletion of American wealth, power, and prestige," he said.

In his report card, Trump asserted that America's economy is the best it has ever been.

Asserting that the US is moving forward at a pace that was "unimaginable just a short time ago", Trump, the first president to run for re-election after being impeached, said since his election, his administration has created 7 million new jobs 5 million more than government experts projected during the previous administration.

The unemployment rate is the lowest in over half a century, he claimed while noting that the average unemployment rate under his administration was lower than any administration in America's history.

"If we had not reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration, the world would not now be witness to America's great economic success," he said.

"Since my election, United States stock markets have soared 70 per cent, adding more than USD 12 trillion to our nation's wealth," he said.

Trump noted that he had promised that he would impose tariffs to confront China's "massive theft" of American jobs.

"Our strategy worked. Days ago, we signed the groundbreaking new agreement with China that will defend our workers, protect our intellectual property, bring billions of dollars into our treasury, and open vast new markets for products made and grown right here in the USA," he said.

"For decades, China has taken advantage of the United States, now we have changed that but, at the same time, we have perhaps the best relationship we have ever had with China, including with President Xi (Jinping).

Trump said that the US administration is strongly defending the national security and "as we defend American lives, we are working to end America's wars in the Middle East."

Stressing that his administration has undertaken unprecedented effort to secure the southern border of the US with Mexico, Trump said that the country "should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans - not criminal aliens.

He said that whosoever coming illegally to the US would be promptly removed.

Trump showered praise on the US military for for carrying out a "flawless precision strike" that killed Iran's military commander Qasem Soleimani and terminated his "evil reign of terror forever."

"Soleimani was the Iranian regime's most ruthless butcher, a monster who murdered or wounded thousands of American service members in Iraq," he said.

"That is why, last month, at my direction, the US military executed a flawless precision strike that killed Soleimani and terminated his evil reign of terror forever," he said.

Trump said that the peace talks with the Taliban are underway and vowed to bring the US troops back from war-torn Afghanistan.

"It is also not our function to serve other nations as a law enforcement agency. These are warfighters, the best in the world, and they either want to fight to win or not fight at all. We are working to finally end America's longest war and bring our troops back home," he said.

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First Published: Wed, February 05 2020. 17:26 IST