President Obama renews his call for fast-tracking free trade agreements with Asia and Europe.
Kathie Leonard, president and CEO of Auburn Manufacturing Inc. (AMI), attended the 2015 State of the Union Address in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20 at the invitation of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a strong supporter of U.S. manufacturing.
President Obama renewed his call for fast-tracking free trade agreements with Asia and Europe, and Leonard said she agreed that past deals haven’t lived up to the hype.
“There’s a lot of enforcement that still needs to take place with free trade,” she says. “However, given a level playing field, I believe small businesses like ours can benefit by new trade partnerships, creating more U.S. jobs.”
Based in Mechanic Falls, Maine, AMI provides high-temperature textiles to the petroleum, shipbuilding/repair, power generation and metal-making industries. The company exports products to more than 35 countries and has avoided the off-shoring trend, employing 50 people between its Mechanic Falls and Auburn manufacturing plants.