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Trump wins big Ohio manufacturing investment from Australia's Pratt Industries

Suzanne O'Halloran

President Trump welcomed Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Wapakoneta, Ohio at Pratt Industries, along with factory owner Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt, as he touted an "economic revival" of the manufacturing industry with the promise of more foreign investment and a surge in new jobs.

"We proudly declare Pratt Industries and the great, great state of Ohio open for business...Pratt has pledged, as I said, to invest many billions in the United States" Trump told a packed crowd as they chanted "U-S-A, U-S-A..."

"When this plant is fully operational, hundreds of Ohio workers will have full-time jobs, with quality healthcare, retirement benefits and really great wages.....I'm especially excited to announce that 1 in 4 workers at this plant is a veteran" Trump added.

Pratt is creating 5,000 new jobs, helped in part by Trump's tax cuts which included lowering the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. Trump noted foreign companies invested $250 billion in the United States last year alone.

Pratt Industries is America's 5th largest corrugated packaging company and the world's largest, privately-held 100 percent recycled paper and packaging business, the company notes.

Pratt himself accompanied the world leaders on a factory tour.

The push may also help the U.S. manufacturing sector which is showing signs of a slowdown, contracting for the first time in three years and raising fresh concerns about the health of the U.S. economy.

The ISM Manufacturing Index fell to 49.1 percent in August, down from 51.2 percent in July, as the U.S.-China trade war continued to cause uncertainty.

The announcement also reinforced a strong bond between the United States and Australia on several levels.

"If you don't have a strong economy, there are so many things you can't do," said Morrison who also thanked the U.S. veterans in the crowd. "The President and I are here today because we believe in jobs and we believe in the way that jobs transform lives."

Trump called Australia one of "America's greatest friends and loyal allies."

America is also the largest investor in Australia Trump noted.

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