Senator Ron Wyden visited Blount International’s headquarters in Portland on Wednesday for the second I Make America event in Oregon this year.
Wyden, who is the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee (which would be tasked with writing tax reform legislation), toured the company’s manufacturing facilities and spoke to more than 500 Blount employees.
Blount General Manager John Wilhelms led Wyden on a tour of facilities where the Oregon manufacturer produces chains, bars and sprockets for the chain saw and forestry industries.
In speaking to employees, Wyden then answered questions about how to promote free trade, strengthen the American steel industry, reform the tax code and revitalize U.S. infrastructure. He also emphasized the importance of Democrats and Republicans working together to craft bipartisan solutions to some of the most pressing public policy challenges facing the equipment manufacturing industry today.
"Our state has always been known for making outstanding products that generate good-paying red-white-and-blue jobs right here at home,” said Sen. Wyden. "Today marked a wonderful opportunity to spotlight Oregon's manufacturing strength with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers highlighting one of our great manufacturers - Blount International, its fantastic employees and products thriving in a global economy."
It wasn’t all serious business, though: the senator also had some fun, signing I Make America t-shirts, posing for photos with employees and reminiscing about his college basketball career. Wyden also presented Blount International CEO Josh Collins with an American flag flown over the United States Capitol to commemorate the I Make America event.
The I Make America tour now moves back east with events scheduled in Michigan and Wisconsin.