Treasury Secretary’s Visit Underscores Manufacturing Focus

March 15, 2013
A visit by Treasure Secretary Jacob J. Lew to Siemens’ drive component manufacturing facility in Georgia highlights the Obama administration’s focus on manufacturing, job creation and infrastructure investment.

For his first official trip outside of Washington, D.C., Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew chose to visit the 40-acre Siemens’ GA 400 facility in Alpharetta, Ga. The site, which develops and manufactures drive components, is one of 130 Siemens manufacturing operations in the U.S. The electric and hybrid drives manufactured in Alpharetta are used in the transportation, mining, metal and hybrid commercial vehicle and automotive sectors.

“This is the kind of facility I wanted to visit on my first trip as Treasury Secretary,” said Lew, noting that the Siemens facility represents both the use and production of advanced technologies, as well as energy use reduction and environmental support.

Lew pointed out that plants such as Siemens’ GA 400 facility, which employs some 700 people, are important for the U.S. economy in terms of jobs as well as for exports. “This site is representative of the dynamic economic activity we need more of here in the U.S.,” he added.

The work being done at this plant helps “highlight the scope of projects that facilities like this support with their technology as well as the infrastructure needed to deliver these projects,” Lew said. “There is a broad understanding in the administration of the need to support manufacturing.”

To do this effectively, Lew said it’s important for government to focus on the tax code and help ensure workers get the training needed to work at facilities like this. (Read more about Lew’s planned focus on the tax code.) It’s also important to continue advocating for the infrastructure investments the Obama administration has been pushing for, Lew added.

With a continued focus on infrastructure investment, tax code reformation, training and education, as well as joint public and private sector R&D investment, “there is a bright future ahead in the U.S. for advanced manufacturing and the continuing resurgence of manufacturing here,” said Lew.

During the press conference at the plant, Lew also addressed the budget negotiations ongoing in Congress. (Read Dow Jones Business News coverage of those comments.)

Lew completed the conference with a note that his visit here is the first of many such visits he plans to make as Treasury Secretary.

The Treasury Secretary was guided on his tour of the GA 400 facility by plant manager Shujath Ali; Siemens Corp. U.S. President and CEO Eric Spiegel; and Siemens Industry North America CEO Helmuth Ludwig.

Siemens' GA 400 Plant Facts
• Manufacturing site for large traction drives used for transportation (light rail, locomotives and heavy rail) and mining applications (trucks, shovels and draglines), low voltage drives for the water, wastewater, paper and metals industries, and more than 100 different types of control panels.
• Houses a drives testing facility and a wire center for the manufacture of wire kits and cable harnesses as well as a traction inverter servicing facility.
• Siemens trolley-assist mining drives built here reportedly reduce fuel consumption by more than 95 percent and produce near zero emissions during mining trucks’ fuel-intensive uphill climbs.
• The electric dive system manufactured here will be used to power what is reported to be the world’s largest mining haul truck, capable of carrying 500 short tons (the weight of 250 standard-size cars).

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