Senator Rob Portman Urges Pro-Job Approach In Washington While Touring Whirlpool Facility in Clyde

February 11, 2011 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a visit with employees and plant leadership at the Whirlpool appliance facility in Clyde, OH, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) urged Washington to return to a pro-growth approach to legislation in order to create an environment that is conducive to job growth in Ohio.


As he had during his campaign, Senator Portman put forth a series of substantive legislative ideas that would help Ohio companies compete globally, including the passage of the three pending export agreements.


“Washington has, unfortunately, been making it harder, not easier, for companies of all sizes here in Ohio to grow and create jobs,” said Senator Portman.  “We need to turn that around and pass pro-job growth legislation.  I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to come together on a bipartisan basis to ratify pending export agreements, agreements that would provide opportunity here in Clyde and across Ohio, benefitting Ohio companies and their employees.”

During his tenure as U.S. Trade Representative, Senator Portman played a key role in negotiating the pending export opening agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.  These agreements would open significant opportunities for Ohio manufacturers, farmers and service providers.  According to the Obama Administration, the agreement with South Korea would increase annual exports of American goods by up to $11 billion and support at least 70,000 American jobs.

Exports are key to Ohio job growth.  Trade in Ohio supported over 1.4 million jobs in 2009.  In 2009, Ohio’s merchandise exports totaled $34.1 billion and agricultural exports totaled nearly $2.7 billion.

After hearing from small business owners and Ohio’s workers about their concerns regarding the health care law and numerous new regulations that stifle job growth, Senator Portman also highlighted his hope that Congress could change directions and provide certainty to companies hoping to expand. 


“With its new health care law, Washington missed an opportunity last year to truly reduce health care costs and improve the system for Ohio families and small businesses,” continued Portman.  “We can do better.  I will push for the opportunity in the U.S. Senate to pull back from the $2.6 trillion health care law and truly reform the system to reduce costs and help create jobs.” 


Senator Portman’s visit included a brief tour of the 2.4 million square foot facility – the biggest washing machine plant in the world, large enough to hold 53 football fields.  Ohio is home to five Whirlpool Corp. manufacturing plants which collectively employ 10,000 employees.  More appliances are made in the state of Ohio – all by Whirlpool Corporation – than any other state in the U.S.


“We’re delighted to welcome Senator Portman to our Clyde facility,” said Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer, Whirlpool Corporation.  “We are confident in, and continue to invest in the U.S. market.  In fact, we’re making investments in our U.S. footprint totaling $1 billion over five years, including $250 million invested in our Ohio plants in the last three years.   We look forward to working with Senator Portman to help ensure we can remain competitive while retaining U.S. manufacturing jobs.”