Caterpillar Inc. hosted President George W. Bush at the company's manufacturing facility in East Peoria, Illinois
, where the President commended Caterpillar for successfully demonstrating that U.S. companies can successfully compete on the world stage.
"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," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Owens while introducing the President. "I thank Team Caterpillar for representing the competitive American spirit and positioning our company to take advantage of the opportunity created."
During his visit, the President highlighted free trade agreements put in place during his administration, which have benefited companies like Cat. The machines and products made in East Peoria and at Caterpillar facilities across the U.S. are shipped throughout the world. Caterpillar exported more than $10 billion in products from the U.S. in 2006, a record for the company. Bush also recognized worker training programs, safe workplaces and competitive health care benefits that make up the culture of excellence and accomplishment at Caterpillar.
"Today's presidential visit was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our employees," said Bob Williams, the Caterpillar vice president who leads the company's U.S. Operations Division with responsibility for three of the company's largest manufacturing operations, which are located in Illinois. "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. 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."