President Trump on Wednesday, with the appearance perceived as a way to show how its economic policies help the manufacturing industry.
The visit of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, comes at a delicate time for Trump, whofollowing the builder's recent decision to close its plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and lay off 3,300 workers. Factory production in the US also declined this year, which is unfortunate for a presidential administration that has made energy the manufacturing sector a key priority.
Lima, a three-hour drive west of Lordstown, offers Mr. Trump a preferable backdrop to GM's Lordstown facility. The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, which is owned by the government but is operated by defense giant General Dynamics, has benefited from a huge boost earlier this year when the US military announced that it "s worthless. it would spend $ 714 million to upgrade the M1A1 Abrams, the main battle tank used by the country. armed forces.
"The Trump defense budget is helping to create good jobs in the manufacturing sector and good wages, including in communities like Lima where the economy has been falling behind," wrote Peter Navarro, director of trade and manufacturing policy, in an opinion piece published in The New York Times Tuesday. "The revitalized Lima plant will directly employ just over 1,000 employees."
Although this is far from the 5,000 workers employed in the factory during the Second World War, new jobs represent a doubling of the workforce over the past five years. Plant growth is also expected to boost Lima 's economy, with newly hired workers to support restaurants, shops and services in the region.
Here are five things to know about the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center as Mr. Trump travels to the factory.
The factory manufactured the first tank M1 Abrams
The first M1 Abrams tank was manufactured at the factory in Lima, Ohio, and then delivered to the US Army in 1980. Today, the factory manufactures variants. of this tank as well as parts of the Stryker armored combat vehicle, according to the Defense and Logistics Agency. The tanks are field tested on a two-mile runway, which includes driving on both deep and off-road terrain.
The factory almost closed 5 years ago
According to Lima News, cutbacks in US defense spending led to the almost total closure of the plant five years ago. He referred to the efforts of several Ohio legislators on both sides of the political spectrum to help save the plant, including Senators Sherrod Brown, D.-Ohio and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. At the time, the factory employed about 400 people.
Trump has led billions of dollars of funding to the factory
In 2017, the Trump administration has allocated more than a billion dollars to modernize the tanks of the plant, according to the Lima News, while the budget 2020 proposed by Mr. Trump provides 2, $ 3 billion in new spending.
New jobs at the factory pay up to $ 20 at the hour
The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center has intensified its recruitments over the past year, thanks to new defense spending on tank modernization. Most jobs are between $ 19 and $ 20 an hour, a county official told Lima News. This equates to an annual salary of about $ 41,000, about one-third more than Lima's median annual salary of $ 31,000.
Kuwait, Australia and other allies buy tanks
Allies, including Kuwait, Australia and Saudi Arabia, are buying Abrams tanks built at the factory, Navarro said. He cited purchases as "help[ing] create good, well-paying jobs in America. "