Trump tours Whirlpool: President promised to help American workers at Clyde factory

Donald Trump in Clyde, Ohio. Photo by Michael Harrington of the Sandusky Register.

CLYDE — President Donald Trump promised if he’s reelected he will revitalize American manufacturing.

“My administration swears by two simple rules: buy American and hire American,” Trump said Thursday in a speech he gave at the Clyde Whirlpool factory.

Trump chose to tour the washing machine production facility to tout the economic success of his administration.

“Your company became a shining example of how tough trade policies and smarts can bring jobs and prosperity into communities like Clyde,” Trump said.

He said foreign manufacturers flooded the U.S. market with washing machines sold below cost to drive American manufacturers out of business.

Whenever a tariff is placed on one country, the companies would just move production somewhere else.

“For eight years Whirlpool begged the Obama-Biden administration to protect American workers from the flagrant dumping of foreign washers and dryers into America,” Trump said. “But their cries fell on deaf ears. They didn’t care, and they never will.”

In 2018, however, Trump imposed a 50 percent tariff on foreign washing machines, which he said created American jobs and helped free the factory from predatory trade policy.

He saw the reception he received from the people lining U.S. 20 to greet him as proof his plan worked.

“I came through today everyone was out there — tremendous crowds — waving and cheering I said ‘I must have done it right,’” Trump said.

He brought workers from the facility that he said his tariffs helped, on stage, to talk about their experience with Whirlpool.

“There’s not another company that would provide the job security and opportunity in Clyde like Whirlpool,” said Keri Wallace, whose family has worked at the factory for years.

He also brought Marco Ontiveros on stage. A first-generation American who started working at the Clyde plant at 18 to provide for his young family.

“My father came here for the American dream,” Ontiveros said. “I was fortunate enough to find my American dream in these four walls.”

They both said they supported and were thankful for Trump’s trade policies.

Trump also made the following promises if he were reelected over his opponent former Vice President Joe Biden:

Defeating COVID-19

“We are attacking the virus from every angle, and it will be gone sooner than people think,” Trump said.

He highlighted the development of a vaccine and early positive signs of antibody treatments. He also reiterated his belief that the economy needs to continue to reopen.

“We know what to do and who to protect,” Trump said. “Our strategy shelters those at the highest risk while allowing those of lower risk to begin to get back to work safely and school instead of blanket lockdown, causing severe long-term public health consequences.”

He promised that the country would come out of the turmoil caused by the virus stronger than ever.

“We are going to have many very successful years unless somebody comes along and destroys it by doubling, tripling and quadrupling taxes,” Trump said. “It will be a depression.”

Turn America into the premier medical and drug manufacturer

Trump said the pandemic showed shortages in medical equipment, but the economy was able to adjust to create ventilators, medical gowns and masks.

He wants to build on that growth to turn the country into the top producer medical products and medicine.

“We cannot rely on China and other nations when they could deny us products in times of need,” Trump said.

He signed an executive order, he said, that requires people to buy essential medicines from American pharmaceutical companies.

Bring manufacturing jobs back to America

Trump said he would bring jobs back to supply chains critical for America, including steel, automotive and appliances. Trump said he will do it by any means possible, including more tariffs.

“I will always put American workers first,” he said.

Whirlpool facts

• Founded 1911
• Last remaining U.S.-headquartered major appliance company
• Invested approximately $4 billion in the last five years in America
• Employs 25,000 people in America including 15,000 in nine factories
• World’s leading kitchen and laundry appliance company with about $20 billion in annual sales
• 80 percent of the cutting-edge products sold in the U.S. are manufactured in the U.S.

Clyde Whirlpool facts

• Opened 1952
• Employs more than 3,000
• Produces more than 20,000 washers a day
• One of the world’s largest and most advanced home washing machine production facility
• More than $170 million in capital investment since 2014