Emerson CEO David Farr has spent his life in manufacturing, and he says it’s been a long time since he’s been this optimistic about the sector’s future.
Farr is halfway through a two-year term as chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers. After visiting Ranken Technical College last week during the group’s eight-state State of Manufacturing tour, Farr sat down to discuss both industry issues and Emerson’s outlook.
Citing the recent corporate tax cut and red-tape-cutting moves by President Donald Trump, Farr said incentives are now in place for factory owners to upgrade their plants. Among other projects, Emerson is investing $63 million in its InSinkErator plant in Racine, Wis., and $100 million in a compressor plant in Sidney, Ohio.
Farr has been a longtime critic of U.S. tax and regulatory policy. “Our government was saying we don’t want you here,” he said.
With the U.S. corporate tax rate falling from 35 percent to 21 percent, and with generous tax breaks for capital investments, he now feels welcome. He says Emerson will now pay a lower tax rate than its European rivals.
“We now have a competitive advantage,” Farr said. “That’s why I’m so excited about what I see ahead.”
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