DETROIT (AP) — President Barack Obama will help announce expansion of a truck engine plant when he visits a Detroit suburb on Monday.
The president is visiting the area to build support for his plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” the combination of tax hikes and spending cuts that are to take effect in January unless a budget deal is reached.
A person briefed on the matter says Obama and Detroit Diesel will unveil a $100 million investment at the factory in Redford Township, Mich.
The person says the plant owned by Germany’s Daimler AG will be expanded to make transmissions and axles. The person didn’t want to be identified in advance of the official announcement. It was unclear how many jobs would be added. More details are expected later on Monday.
Obama is scheduled to tour the 3-million-square-foot plant and speak to workers before returning to Washington in the afternoon.
Detroit Diesel has been in business since 1938. The Redford plant now employs about 2,300 people, according to the company’s website.
Obama’s visit was planned as he works to get public backing and pressure Republicans to reach a deal on the “fiscal cliff.”
The “fiscal cliff” refers to rate increases that would affect every worker who pays federal taxes, as well as spending cuts that would begin to bite defense and domestic programs alike. Economists say the combination carries the risk of a new recession at a time the economy is still struggling to recover from the worst slowdown in decades.
The country faces the fiscal cliff because tax rate cuts put in place during the administration of former President George W. Bush expire at the end of the year. Obama campaigned during his successful run for a second term on keeping the cuts in place for all but the top 2 percent of U.S. earners. Republicans want to find additional government income by cutting back on tax loopholes and deductions while leaving the tax rates unchanged.
The pending across-the-board reductions in government spending, impacting everything from social programs to the military, were put in place last year as an incentive to both parties to find spending reductions. That legislation grew out of the two parties’ inability in 2011 to agree to a tax and spending program that would have taken a big bite out of the deficit.
Obama’s visit also comes after Republicans in Michigan last week pushed right-to-work legislation through the state House and Senate. An Obama spokesman on Thursday repeated the president’s opposition to right-to-work laws as the Michigan Legislature adopted the union-curbing measure.