- Associated Press - Thursday, March 22, 2018

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on goods imported from China was an effort to combat unfair trade practices.

Speaking hours after Trump fired a warning shot at Beijing, the vice president said “the era of economic surrender is over.”

Pence’s remarks came Thursday at an event in New Hampshire hosted by the pro-Trump group America First Polices to highlight the new tax reform law.

He said that thanks to the tax measure, “American businesses and businesses here in New Hampshire can better compete with businesses anywhere in the world.”

Pence has made numerous trips across the country to tout the bill, the only major legislative achievement to date by the White House and congressional Republicans.

He also praised the massive $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by the House and Senate on Thursday which is intended to fund the federal government through the end of September.

The measure increase military spending and Pence said the bill would make “the largest investment in national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan.”

Pence received a standing ovation from the pro-Republican crowd when he announced that when “$1.6 billion included in the spending bill arrives on President Trump’s desk tomorrow, we’re going to start to build that wall.”

Presidential candidate Trump repeatedly promised to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and has been urging Congress to fund construction of it.

Pence also headlined a fundraiser for New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s 2018 re-election campaign on Thursday. He praised Granite State’s first Republican governor in a dozen years for “eliminating 1,600 job killing regulations in his first year in office alone.”

Sununu has visited the White House nearly 10 times since the beginning of the Trump presidency and has built a strong working relationship with Pence.

Pence’s trip to New Hampshire came three days after Trump visited the state to unveil his administration’s plan to combat the heroin and opioid crisis, including a push for the death penalty for some of those caught trafficking highly addictive drugs.

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