By Congressman Brad Wenstrup –
“Made in America.” Whether these three simple words are stitched inside a pair of jeans or splashed in bold letters across a banner outside a local car dealer, they invoke a sense of pride. It’s almost as if a small piece of our national identity has now taken tangible form.
The same pride rings true in Ohio. Talk to any born-and-raised Ohioans, including me, for very long and you will discover that we love to enjoy Ohio-made products, food, and services. In fact, when you walk into my Congressional office in Washington, D.C., the first thing you notice are the ‘Made in Ohio’ products scattered 360 degrees around the front office. On one shelf sits La Rosa’s pizza sauce, Graeter’s ice cream, Skyline and Gold Star Chili, Montgomery Inn sauce, and even a model Ford car built right here in our great state.
Our American-made products, inventions, and businesses – both big and small – truly become icons of the cities or towns where they are located. They are part of the very fabric, history, and identity of our communities. Equally, the products and companies are shaped by their surroundings and by the men and women who have built them from the ground up.
Southern and southwest Ohio are rich in such success stories. Take GE Aviation’s headquarters, right here in Evendale, Ohio. A walk through the Learning Center takes you through GE Aviation’s timeline back to when it developed the first turbosupercharger for U.S. aircraft during World War I, up through its current experiments to change the trajectory of commercial and military aviation tomorrow. 100 years of flight engine innovation, right here in our backyard — that’s something special.
Another company with deep Ohio roots is Procter and Gamble. Ending up in Cincinnati by chance, immigrants William Procter and James Gamble partnered together at first with the simple purpose of making ends meet for their families, but then they went on to redefine an entire industry with their consumer products. Today, you can’t go into a grocery store anywhere in the country without seeing a P&G product sitting on a shelf. There’s a sense of pride when you flip over your Crest toothpaste and see “Cincinnati, OH” in small print.
Unfortunately, too many of these local companies are forced to move their manufacturing plants or headquarters outside of U.S. borders, where growing a business can be cheaper and smarter. When Burger King acquired Tim Horton’s and moved its headquarters to Canada, it could cut as much as $275 million in taxes from its expense sheet – capital that can then be used to reinvest in the company, growing jobs, ideas, and research.
That’s why, here in the House of Representatives, we’re working on a pro-growth tax reform plan to make it easier for companies to compete, grow, and succeed here in the U.S. Whether you are one person with an idea and the passion to grow that idea into a start-up company, or an established business looking to expand, it’s important that the American economy encourages this growth. This means restoring American competitiveness by lowering our corporate tax rate from the highest in the industrialized world to 20 percent. It means making our tax system simpler and more streamlined, so businesses aren’t spending so much of their valuable time and resources trying to decipher an overly complex tax code. This in turn, helps make it easier to create jobs, raise wages, and expand opportunity for all Americans.
If you’re skeptical about tax reform, keep in mind the domino effect that comes with policies that are unaffordable for businesses both small and large in America: start-ups can’t afford to start — and never lift off the ground. Small businesses can’t afford legal fees or taxes — and close or are bought by a bigger company. Large companies that employ hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans find better tax rates in another country – and take their ideas and jobs with them.
We want to ensure that American innovation – and American jobs – can thrive right here in Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Portsmouth, Peebles, and elsewhere across our great nation. Because “Made in America” is part of who we are.
Brad Wenstrup is a United States Representative from the state of Ohio.