Presidential Visit Update (w/VIDEO): Obama Says Manufacturing Is Key, Calls for Tax Reform

The president's message at the Boeing plant in Everett on Friday was simple: work hard, play fair and share responsibility. He headed next to Bellevue and Medina for fundraisers.

Update, Friday, 2:31 p.m.: 

President Obama’s message during a visit Friday to The Boeing Co. plant in Everett was simple: work hard, play fair and share responsibility.

“We’re still recovering from one of the worst economic crises in our lifetime,” he told a large crowd at the plant where Boeing makes its 787 Dreamliner. “We’ve still got a long way to go. … But the tide is turning.”

Obama acknowledged that there are fewer jobs today, and that “we can’t bring every job back.” But instead of dwelling on the economic decline, the president’s remarks touched on what is going well in today’s economy, and on future goals.

"America is a place where we can always do something to create new jobs, and new opportunities, and new manufacturing, and new security for the middle class, and that’s why I’m here today. That’s our job," he said to applause.

“American workers have been more productive,” he said, adding that some jobs that previously required 1,000 people may now only need 100 to get the job done. It’s a reality that will likely lead to more service jobs, he said.

Obama also called for an increase in manufacturing. 

“Manufacturing has a special place in America. When we make stuff, we’re selling stuff that creates jobs beyond just this plant. It raises standards of living for everybody.”

Boeing, which builds its 737 in Renton, is a perfect example of this. Increased production supports more than 400 local aerospace suppliers, King County Executive Dow Constantine said late last year. On Friday, Obama said Boeing impacts manufacturing across the country.

He called for Congress to pass tax reforms to encourage businesses to keep their jobs here instead of going overseas, and to invest in places that have been hard hit by factories leaving town.

"We can either settle for a country where a few people do really well, and everybody else is struggling, or we can restore an economy where everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules, from Washington to Wall Street to Main Street.  Everybody is doing their part."

The president also congratulated the company in its 13,000 hires last year, including 5,000 people who work in Everett.

Obama opened his appearance by thanking employees for his "smooth ride."

"As some of you may know, Air Force One was built right here in Everett 25 years ago. In fact, I met--one of my guys that I met during the tour worked on the plane  So I told him he did a pretty good job."

A "couple thousand" people, including Boeing employees, VIPs, and local and state dignitaries, attended the event at the plant, according to Boeing Communications Manager Debbie Heathers.

After the event, the president took Marine One to Kirkland, where he boarded his motorcade for private fundraisers in Medina and Bellevue. Crowds were gathered outside both locations to get a look and voice support for a variety of causes.


Original Story: President Obama will tour The Boeing Co. factory in Everett during his visit to the Puget Sound area on Friday.

He's expected to speak about the importance of domestic manufacturing and American exports at Boeing after flying to Paine Field. His speaking engagement in Everett is the first presidential visit to Snohomish County in 19 years, according to The Everett Herald. Bill Clinton was the last president to visit the county in 1993.

In late November, Boeing announced that 737 Max production would take place in Washington state, bringing with it thousands of new jobs. Boeing added 8,361 jobs in Washington last year, according to The Everett Herald.

Boeing has also committed to increasing its 737 production to 42 planes per month by 2014.

The city of Renton has been a major player in securing the 737 Max production. When asked about Obama’s visit, Renton Mayor Denis Law said he’d ask the president what federal funding he could provide for transportation and infrastructure investment, given the number of jobs and the economic boost that the 737 MAX production in Renton will provide the entire nation.

Law would also like to extend a personal invite to the president.

“Not only do we have the best aerospace industry in the world, but we also have one of the best Five Guys Burgers,” he said in an email to Patch.

Alex Pietsch, administrator for the City of Renton's Department of Community and Economic Development said Obama's visit gives the state and region a rare opportunity to showcase the importance of the Puget Sound's significance in the aerospace industry around the world and in the global economy.

"Renton and Boeing's 737 production facility is an important part of that and we look forward to the day when the President visits Renton to see the 737MAX under production," he said.

The increased production brings more than just Boeing jobs, it also supports more than 400 local aerospace suppliers, King County Executive Dow Constantine said late last year.

Patch will be at Boeing’s Everett plant on Friday, so be sure to check back for our coverage. Obama’s visit comes just days after GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum held a rally in Tacoma and a day after Republican candidate Ron Paul’s rally in SeaTac.

After his visit to Boeing, Obama will head to Bellevue and Medina for private fundraisers before returning to Washington, D.C., late Friday.


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