ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- 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 and Senate hopeful Josh Hawley along with supporters. After spending 10-15 minutes shaking hands with and talking to supporters, many of whom sported Make America Great Again hats and "Trump 2020" bumper stickers, he headed to Boeing headquarters.
Awaiting him at Boeing was a setup with a giant American flag flanked by two Boeing F-18 Super Hornets and Aerosmith's "Livin' On The Edge" blaring over loudspeakers.
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.
It was in Missouri he first pledged to “bring Main Street roaring back,” and White House officials stressed he chose Missouri for his first business roundtable for that reason. Wednesday, Trump again hit on that declaration, saying, "We helped Main Street, we helped Wall Street and jobless claims are at a 50-year low."
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, about half the cost of Lockheed Martin’s F-22.
The centerpiece of the president’s visit was a roundtable discussion on the impact his tax cuts had on Missouri businesses.
AMONG THOSE ON THE PANEL ARE:
College of the Ozarks
Kansas City Power and Light
Mid-Am Metal Forming
Great Southern Bank
Kansas City Southern Railway
Hunter Chase and Associates
CEOs, executives and workers from those entities were all in attendance, along with the president of Missouri’s Chamber of Commerce Daniel Mehan, and Trump had a back and forth discussion on the impact of his tax cuts and what it means for businesses in the state.
Representatives from the companies took turns talking about the specific 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 what they used the bonus money for.
Following the roundtable, which concluded at 3:45, Trump left the facility. He is expected to attend a fundraising event for Josh Hawley (R), who recently announced his candidacy for Senate. The event costs $5,000 minimum per person to attend. There are expected to be around 175 attendees and approximately $2 million is expected to be raised.
This story will update once information on possible road closures for the president’s visit is released.