Last night President Obama used his State of the Union address to lay out his plan to strengthen the middle class. Today he was in Asheville, NC to talk more specifically about his committment to making America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing so we continue to build things the rest of the world buys:
A few years ago, manufacturing comebacks in North Carolina, a manufacturing comeback in Asheville may not have seemed real likely, because Volvo had just left town. This plant had gone dark -- 228 jobs had vanished. And that was a big blow for this area, because part of what happens is when those manufacturing jobs go away, then suddenly the restaurant has fewer customers, and suppliers for the plant start withering. And it's hard for everybody. It has a ripple effect.But then local officials started reaching out to companies, offering new incentives to take over this plant. Some of the workers who got laid off, like Stratton, went back to school and they learned new skills. And then, a year later, Linamar showed up. They were looking for a place to build some big parts. And these parts are big, I got to say, hubs and wheels and anchors for 400-ton mining trucks. And while they could have gone any place in the world, they saw this incredible potential right here in Asheville. They saw the most promise in this workforce, so they chose to invest in Asheville, in North Carolina, in the United States of America.
So to date, Linamar has hired 160 workers. It will be 200 by the end of the year, and it's just going to keep on going after that. So the folks at Linamar said, they came to Asheville to grow their business. They came here to stay and put down some roots.
And the good news is what’s happening here is happening all around the country. Because just as it’s becoming more and more expensive to do business in places like China, America is getting more competitive and more productive.
The President’s plan builds on that momentum by investing in American manufacturing. Training American workers for high-tech manufacturing jobs, ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and opening new markets for American-made products will make the U.S. more competitive and will create new jobs and bring jobs back to our shores.
On Tuesday, President Obama offered four concrete proposals to revitalize our manufacturing industry: Create a network of 15 manufacturing Innovation Institutes; reform our business tax code, lowering the rate for manufacturers to 25 percent, expanding and making permanent the research and development tax credit, and putting in place a global minimum tax; building new partnerships with communities to attract manufacturers and their supply chains, especially to hard hit manufacturing towns; and a dual effort to both open new markets for American-made goods and strengthen the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center launched last year.