In fact, how about any of the veterans of the United States Armed Forces who are with us today? There we go. So thank you for that, Tom. You know, Tom and Sean and all of you stood up are great veterans, great people that made a difference in the life of this nation. And all of you who are serving in this country — company have made a tremendous difference in the life of this local economy.
So I just want to give you all a shout out of thanks. It is a growing company.
So how about a round of applause for all the Patriot employees who are here? I mean, all of you are emblematic of the kind of people, the kind of people that really make Virginia business grow and expand. And you show us, each and every day, in a company like this one, that when the playing field is level, American workers can outcompete, out-innovate, and outwork anybody in the world.
As I stand before you today, the President has renegotiated our trade agreement with South Korea, opening up new doors of exports and opportunity between the United States and that long-term ally. We recently announced a new trade agreement with Japan, setting the stage and continuing discussions on a free trade agreement with Japan. And negotiations with China are ongoing, but President Trump has made it clear: the era of economic surrender to China is over. And that is that, now going on a year ago, President Trump negotiated what will be the largest trade deal in American history: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
And I mean to tell you, I was in on a lot of those phone calls and more than a few of those meetings. He drove a hard bargain with our neighbors to the north and the south. He did. He drove a hard bargain to put American manufacturing first, American jobs first, American agriculture first.
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I mean, the truth of the matter is the Do-Nothing Democrats on Capitol Hill are spending all their time on endless investigations and a partisan impeachment. But the people Virginia deserve better. So I came to Virginia to say the time has come for Democrats in Congress to put Virginia jobs and Virginia workers first. You know, I mean, this is a really big deal, okay? And the truth is, this will be the largest trade deal in the history of this country.
And that includes nearly 50, manufacturing jobs.
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It is. And Patriot Industries is just emblematic of so many Virginia businesses. Under the USMCA, we know that numbers only going to grow, which is going to create more jobs, more job security, more opportunities, right here in Virginia. Laughter and applause. I came here to Virginia to turn up the heat. Are you with me? I mean, the clock is ticking, everybody. The clock is ticking. This is the time. I got it.
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But on this one — on this one, I got to tell you, I want you to — I want you to do something — do something good for this company, this community, this state, and this nation. I want you to — I want you to reach out to your elected officials in Washington, D. I want you to tell them what the USMCA is going to mean for this company, this community, for this state, and this nation, okay? I ran into Mike. I love George Allen. This is a big deal. This is bigger than politics. This is not about — this is not about one side or the other.
And so I need you to make a call.
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But let me — let me save you a nickel. Would you guys stand up? I knew nothing about sex or birth control, and neither did he.
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I thought our wedding night was one of those days. Later that week, we flew to Canada and I moved into his two-bedroom condo in Mississauga. I missed my parents, my friends, my school.
I was so unhappy that I stopped eating, and I spent most of my days watching TV while my husband was at work. I stopped getting my period right away. At first, I thought it was because of the move, the abrupt change in environment. But a month passed, then another. I was getting sick every morning. My nausea was so severe that I was afraid to go outside in case I fainted.
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Finally I told my husband that I needed to see a doctor. I was only During the first few months of my pregnancy, my husband was kind and thoughtful. He took late-night trips to the grocery store to satisfy my cravings. I discovered an adult learning centre near our condo and enrolled in an ESL course. I thought our marriage was going well.
Then, two months before our daughter was born, he told me his parents would be moving to Canada and staying with us. We moved out of the master bedroom into the smaller one so his parents would be more comfortable. Everything changed when they arrived. My husband and I stopped spending time alone together. In May , I gave birth to our daughter. When we returned from the hospital, my husband slept on the couch while I stayed with the baby in the second bedroom. When she was a few months old, we bought a four-bedroom house in Streetsville with his parents.
I was rarely allowed to leave. I never had a penny to my name. My mother-in-law gave me her cast-off clothing to wear. I walked on eggshells all the time.
Two years in, the abuse got physical. He would grab my wrist and shove me around. Once he tossed a glass of water in my face; I slipped on the floor and threw out my back. I was having suicidal thoughts all the time. I was convinced my life was over. One time, I took a razor blade into the shower and thought about cutting myself, stopping only when I heard my baby cry.
I believed my unhappiness was my fault—that the secret to perfect wifehood was eluding me. When my daughter turned three, I learned about a parent drop-in centre called Ontario Early Years, funded by the Ministry of Education. Located in a Streetsville strip mall, the space was bright and cheerful. My daughter would make crafts or play with Play-Doh, and the parents would gather in a song circle with their children and recite nursery rhymes.
My husband took my daughter and me there a couple of times.
Eventually, he let me walk over on my own. The woman who ran the centre was Pakistani, and she recognized some of the signs of abuse even before I knew what to call it.