BLUE ASH, Ohio -- President Donald Trump visited Sheffer Corporation Monday to tout the Republican tax bill.
After taking a brief tour of the company's cylinder-making facilities, the president gave a speech to a crowd of employees and other supporters, focusing partly on the impact of the tax bill that lawmakers passed in December.
Sheffer gave all its employees $1,000 bonuses in response to the tax bill. Trump brought two Sheffer employees on stage to talk about their plans for the money, as well as President and CEO Jeff Norris, who said the company was investing in its people and equipment thanks to their tax savings.
"Hardworking patriot Americans like you are what makes this country run, and run like no other," Trump said.
Several other local business leaders also joined Trump on stage, including Greg Carmichael of Fifth Third Bank, Christopher Irion of e-Cycle and Matt Schron of Jergens Inc. All three said their businesses had given bonuses to employees as a result of tax cuts.
"Your paychecks are going way up ... your taxes are going way down," Trump said.
During the president's speech, stocks priced plunged and the Dow fell more than 1,500 points. It rebounded slightly by the end of the day, finishing down 1,175 points, or 4.6 percent.
Employers added more than 2 million jobs last year, including nearly 200,000 manufacturing jobs. More than 2 million jobs were also created in 2016. Trump implied that trend would continue thanks to companies' tax savings.
Trump pointed to investments from large companies as a sign that the economy is doing well under his administration, including Apple's announcement last month that it will invest $350 billion over five years and Chrysler's plan to begin building Ram heavy-duty trucks in Warren, Michigan.
"America is once again open for business," he said.
Trump also turned to politics during his speech, bragging about his success in the 2016 election, calling for support of Republican candidates in the 2018 midterm elections and suggesting Democrats who didn't applaud his State of The Union address were guilty of treason.
"They certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much," Trump said.
While the president spoke in Blue Ash, first lady Melania Trump visited Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to speak with experts about how the opioid crisis is affecting Ohio.
Down the street from the Blue Ash factory, protestors and supporters gathered to demonstrate.
"His narrative is that these workers got a bonus because of his tax cut program. But we aren't fooled," Mary Teitelman said. "We know this is a tax scam. We do know this tax plan lines the pockets of millionaires, billionaires and wealthy businessmen."
Supporters of the president stood across the street.
"I'm very grateful that he is moving forward, moving our country forward, making us great again through his tax cuts and all the other legislation that he is trying to push through," Judy Hostiuck said. "We pray the Congress will support his agenda."
Both sides got loud at times, but police kept a close eye on things and no problems were reported.