By U.S. Rep. Martha Roby
Regardless of what is dominating the news cycle on any given day, the economy is always an issue on the minds of hardworking Alabamians. The ability to get and keep a job in order to provide for your family is so important. That is why the President, Congress, and local leaders in Alabama have made growing the economy a top priority.
There is a lot of exciting news happening on the economic front both nationally and locally. America’s economy is growing faster than even analysts could predict. Alabama is one of thirteen states that have reached a record low unemployment rate, the stock market is at an all-time high, and the U.S. dollar continues to climb.
Successful business is the foundation to a healthy economy. A lot of people don’t realize that our effective tax rate for businesses was among the highest in the world before President Trump signed our historic tax reform bill into law. Jobs were being sent overseas and our burdensome tax code was standing in the way of small business growth.
We’ve already seen the positive impact of tax reform on our economy and employees. There has been $1.66 billion and counting in new investments made by companies in the U.S. along with more than $1.57 billion in publicly announced employee bonuses to date in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Employers like Waste Management, Regions Bank, and many others have said that tax reform is the driving force behind their reinvestment and employee compensation.
Alabama has not been left behind in this economic boom, and Governor Ivey highlighted our growing economy in her State of the State address. The Governor and local leaders announced that Toyota and Mazda, in a joint venture, have chosen to build a new plant right here in Alabama. The $1.6 billion assembly plant will employ up to 4,000 workers. Alabama is already the fifth largest producer of cars and trucks in the U.S. with Hyundai in Montgomery, Mercedes-Benz in Tuscaloosa, and Honda in Lincoln. There’s no doubt that Alabama’s proven success over the past two decades in automobile production made it stand out among the other states in the running.
In Alabama’s Second Congressional District, Kimber Gun Manufacturing will be coming to Troy, bringing more than 360 new high-paying jobs to our community. In addition to the new jobs this development will bring, the company will invest more than $38 million into our local economy over the span of five years.
This is just one of many businesses that have recognized our district’s potential and are adding to our strong manufacturing presence. As you may remember, last month Wayne Farms announced a large expansion of its Enterprise Fresh Processing Facility that will bring nearly 400 jobs to the area. Additionally, Shaw Industries Group, which employs more than 1,000 Alabamians, announced it is investing $184 million into its Andalusia manufacturing facility.
The news that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is coming to Montgomery’s 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field is also a tremendous boost to our area’s economy. Landing this mission could result in as many as 1,000 jobs and as much as $3 billion in capital investment – and that’s just the beginning.
Americans are confident in our economy, and rightfully so. I’m proud of the many steps we have taken in Congress to unleash the private sector and roll back Obama-era rules and regulations that were standing in the way of growth. I will continue to fight for Alabama families and do all that I can to assist local and national efforts to keep this momentum going.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama with her husband Riley and their two children.