President Trump saw products from four AEM member companies when he toured the South Lawn of the White House on Monday afternoon for a showcase of “Made in America” products from all 50 states.
Equipment manufacturers figured prominently at the event. Caterpillar represented Illinois and Ditch Witch®, a Charles Machine Works Company represented Oklahoma, while Altec (Alabama) and Taylor Machine Works (Mississippi) rounded out the group.
The “Made in America” event was intended to set a theme for the Trump administration’s public activities this week. Past thematic focuses for the administration had also included infrastructure investment, a top legislative priority for this administration.
“In the audience today we have skilled workers, we have business leaders whose American-made goods we're displaying all over the White House and outside,” Trump said during the event. “I saw fire engines, I saw tractors from Caterpillar. I saw some incredible machinery -- make it right here."
On behalf of its members, AEM has encouraged the Trump administration to take action on priorities important to the equipment manufacturing industry, including infrastructure investment and tax and regulatory relief. AEM has also urged Trump to protect trade agreements that facilitate manufacturers’ ability to export products abroad, and to maintain programs that promote the health of the agricultural sector.
“You construct and harvest the products that fill our homes, feed our families and defend our nation and enrich our lives,” the president said at the White House.
AEM shares President Trump’s goal of strengthening the U.S. manufacturing base, but has also cautioned against confusing those efforts with stringent “Buy American” or rules-of-origin regulations that raise the cost of doing business for manufacturers.
"Caterpillar is proud to represent Illinois and showcase this wheel loader as just one example of the skill and craftsmanship of our employees," Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby said in a statement. "We appreciate the President's dedication to manufacturing industries and the men and women who build and deliver some of the finest products in the world.”
“We are honored to represent the state of Oklahoma,” said Dennis Wierzbicki, Ditch Witch President. “Handcrafted in Perry Oklahoma, Ditch Witch products are an important part of the American manufacturing industry. We’re proud of the innovative products we’ve contributed to the global underground construction market and strive to continually evaluate customer feedback to evolve our products to meet the ever-changing needs of the industry.
Find the full list of companies from across the country participating in the White House event here.