For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 16, 2006
President Discusses Economy During Visit to Pennsylvania
Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations
In Focus: Jobs & Economy
3:55 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: I want to thank the folks here at the Harley plant for their wonderful hospitality. I've been impressed by Harley-Davidsons. It's one of America's finest products. And today I add to my impressions about the product the impressions of the workforce. I was -- really enjoyed walking the floor and shaking hands with the people who work here. I'm impressed by the esprit de corps, I'm impressed by the fact that these people really enjoy what they're doing, I'm impressed by the fact that they're impressed by the product they make.
One of the things we talked about with some of the employees here and some of the management was the need for government to do a couple of things to help them here. One is to open up markets around the world for products like Harley-Davidsons. Harleys get shut out of certain markets, like other American products. And it makes sense that if you're making something people want around the world, that we ought to work hard to open up those markets. There's a direct correlation between exports and jobs. In other words, the more Harleys that are sold in a place like Vietnam or China or India, the more likely it is somebody is going to be able to find work.
And so we talked about that. We also talked about the fact that one reason this company is successful is that they invest a lot in technologies, and that there is a part of our tax code that encourages investment, called the research and development tax credit. And I assured them that when I said I'm for it being permanent, I meant I was for it being permanent. We hope Congress makes the research and development tax credit a permanent part of the tax code. That encourages folks here at Harley to make new investments, it means that the workforce becomes more productive, it means that the product is more likely to be able to compete.
And so I come away from this plant with a lot of very positive impressions, and it is a joy to be here. And again I want to thank you all for opening up your facility, and thank the good folks there on the line for being -- for greeting me in such a warm fashion.
Thank you all. (Applause.)
END 3:58 P.M. EDT