(CNSNews.com) - Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, one of 24 CEOs of the nation's largest manufacturing companies who met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday, said they were "encouraged by the pro-business policies" of the administration, adding that "this is probably the most pro-business administration since the Founding Fathers."
"We in the manufacturing sector…are very encouraged by the pro-business policies of President Trump and his cabinet. Some of us have said that this is probably the most pro-business administration since the Founding Fathers. There is no question that the language of business is occurring here at the White House," Liveris said.
"The manufacturing jobs we're talking about are in the value chains all the way from basic manufacturing to advanced manufacturing, and they're the type of jobs where technology and manufacturing have intersected," Liveris said.
The listening session included CEOs representing 2 million employees, the president said. The CEOs share the president’s commitment to bringing back manufacturing jobs to the U.S., Trump said.
"Today we have 24 CEOs from the largest manufacturing companies in the country and even in the world. They represent - people just in this room - nearly $1 trillion of sales and 2 million employees - large majorities of which are in the United States. They share our commitment to bring manufacturing back and to create jobs in this country, which has been the biggest part of my campaign," Trump said.
"Bringing manufacturing and creating high-wage jobs was one of our campaign themes. It resonated with everybody," Trump said, adding that he is delivering on his campaign promise to bring back American jobs.
"As you know, the United States lost one-third of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA. That's an unbelievable number and statistic, and 70,000 factories closed since China joined the WTO - 70,000 factories,” Trump said, referring to the World Trade Organization. “So when I used to give that statistic, I used to talk about it, and I always used to think it was a typo.
"My administration's policies and regulatory reform, tax reform, trade policies will return significant manufacturing jobs to our country. Everything's going to be based on bringing our jobs back - the good jobs, the real jobs. They've left, and they're coming back, and they have to come back," Trump said.
The president listed a number of companies who have committed to creating jobs for U.S. workers or bringing back jobs they were planning to take outside the country.
"You've already seen companies such as Intel, Ford…GM, Wal-Mart, Amgen, Amazon, Fiat - they came the other day. They're going to make a tremendous investment in the country. Carrier and many others announced significant new investments in the United States," he said.
Trump said Ford is creating 700 new jobs in Michigan “as a vote of confidence.”
“It was actually stated a vote of confidence. We have many other companies doing the same thing," he said.
"Carrier as you know - and I got involved very late almost like by two years late, but many of the jobs that were leaving for Mexico, they're bringing back - at least 800 jobs they're bringing back, and they actually never got to leave. I have no idea what they did with the plant in Mexico, but we'll have to ask them, because it was largely built," Trump said.
"General Motors is investing $1 billion in U.S. plants, adding or keeping 7,000 jobs and is going to be investing a lot more than that over the next fairly short period, Trump said, adding that Lockheed Martin just announced 1800 new jobs.
"Wal-Mart announced plans to create 10,000 jobs, and all of those jobs are going to be in the United States. Sprint Softbank is putting in $50 billion because of our election in the United States over the next four years to create 50,000 jobs. They've been terrific by the way," Trump said.
Liveris, who attended the Workforce for the Future working group, said they had "a very robust conversation" about "the notion that the supply side in STEM and vocational training needs a national systemic fix."
"Many large companies and even small companies are doing the right thing in trying to get training around their factories, to try to put people into these jobs that are STEM-based in the main, but many of us are isolated islands," he said.
Liveris said the problem is "how we can leverage each other's best practices on apprenticeship programs, how to put it back into the school system working with cabinet [Education] Secretary Betsy DeVos and the president's team, and then the whole notion of what we can do with community colleges to retool them" so that vocational training "can be brought back to our kids so that our kids can see these jobs as jobs for the future."
"We have supply side issues today - half a million open STEM jobs that we can't fill. We need to fill them with Americans, and we need to do that as a priority. The next several years - three to five million jobs - even without the pro-growth policies of President Trump, there will be more jobs to fill," Liveris added.