A week ago on this blog, I wrote about a ship leaving Milwaukee with a cargo of American-manufactured heavy equipment--the first time since the 1980s that a US-Flag vessel left Milwaukee loaded with exports. As Secretary of Transportation, I focused on the ship. But today, I want to focus instead on the export goods traveling on those vessels and how American manufacturing continues to drive our recovering economy.
American manufacturers know how to create jobs--they added workers in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
And at places like Navistar International, where I visited yesterday, the work those men and women do has been essential in our progress toward President Obama’s goal of doubling our exports, and it’s essential to revving our economic engine.
It's also essential to making our economy smarter.
For example, Navistar builds commercial trucks and buses. But the company's leadership understands that the diesel we use to fuel those vehicles and move our goods is getting more difficult to produce and more expensive to buy.
So Navistar engineers were among the first in the U.S. to design an electric hybrid truck. And by 2009, Navistar-built hybrids had driven more than 5 million real-world miles.
They didn't stop there. Navistar has also introduced a Class 7-8 truck with an Emission Solutions 7.6-liter compressed natural gas engine. And in February, Navistar announced it will offer its Class 7-8 trucks equipped with a Cummins-Westport ISL-G compressed natural gas engine.
In August 2011, the Obama Administration announced the first-ever fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas pollution standards for work trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles. Over the life of the program, these cutting-edge standards will save American businesses that own and operate commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs.
Companies like Navistar are already ahead of the curve, engineering the fuel-saving trucks and buses that their customers want. America has always been a nation that dreams big and builds big. And the innovation I saw at Navistar yesterday tells me that proud tradition continues.
Seeing the challenges of the 21st century, designing solutions, and incorporating those solutions into already-proven products. That's how American manufacturers are working with Obama Administration standards to create an America that's built to last.