Louisiana: President-elect Donald Trump said Friday he wants to see more oil refineries built in the United States, and pledged to do away with "job-killing restrictions" suppressing the energy sector.
He also delivered a veiled warning to America`s rivals around the world, stating he would be prepared to boost US military production to keep pace with countries like China, which is rapidly modernizing its armed forces.
Trump was speaking in the Gulf Coast state of Louisiana, one of the nation`s main oil and gas hubs, as he continued a drawn out "thank you" tour following his shock victory last month over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The billionaire real estate magnate said that once he takes office in January his administration will "eliminate every single wasteful regulation that undermines the ability of our workers and our companies to compete."
"We will cancel the job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal," he said to a loud cheer from supporters.
"We haven`t had refineries built in decades, right? We`re going to have refineries built, OK, folks?" he assured the crowd, noting the importance of the energy industry in Louisiana.
The US refining system is already the largest in the world, with some 139 refineries in operation, according to Davis Refinery. Most petroleum refining operations are along the US Gulf Coast.
Trump has often spoken of China as an economic and trade rival, but on Friday he suggested the United States would need to "build the strongest military that we`ve ever had" in order to maintain its edge.
"I believe in peace through strength," he said, taking a page out of the playbook of former president Ronald Reagan, who is credited with helping end the Cold War.
"If you look at what`s going on in China, if you look at what`s going on in so many other countries, they`re not easing up," Trump said.
"And if they`re not easing up, we`re not easing up, OK?"
The president-elect recently irritated Beijing by accusing China of "build(ing) a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea."
Baton Rouge was the fourth campaign-style stop for Trump since his November 8 election win. He attended a rally for Republican US Senate candidate John Kennedy, who is in a run-off election in Louisiana Saturday.