President George W. Bush visited the Caterpillar manufacturing facility in East Peoria, Illinois, to tour the facility and discuss the economic agreements affecting it and other U.S. companies.
“The U.S. and global economy have benefited from the president’s pro-growth tax and free trade policies, which have stimulated strong economic growth,” says Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Owens while introducing the president, according to a press release.
Bush emphasized free trade agreements put in place during his administration that have helped companies like Caterpillar, which exported more than $10 billion in products from the U.S. in 2006. The president said communities like Peoria help the American economy maintain its strength. He also praised the Caterpillar workers who manufacture products that are distributed around the world and recognized the worker training programs, safe workplaces and competitive health care benefits of the company.
Bob Williams, the Caterpillar vice president, called the president’s visit a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Caterpillar employees. “Many of our employees got to meet the President, and he in turn praised them for their hard work building Caterpillar’s signature product: the track-type tractor,” Williams says. “These machines are the workhorse of the world’s greatest construction projects. They are a strong export product for our company and represent American manufacturing at its best.”