The U.S. State Department recently approved the sale of 108 M1A2T Abrams Tanks, manufactured in Ohio, to the Taiwanese government.
The sale comes as part of a $2 billion Foreign Military Sale to Taiwan, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a press release.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) praised the sale as good news for workers at Lima, Ohio’s Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC), one of the last remaining manufacturers of the U.S. Army’s main battle tank.
“Sales of military equipment to our allies both enhance our security and support good-paying American manufacturing jobs. This sale is an important signal of our support for Taiwan and it’s good news for Ohio and our workers at the JSMC. Keeping the Abrams production line thriving will help JSMC continue to meet the needs of our troops both at home and around the globe,” Portman said in a press release.
“I applaud the State Department’s approval of this sale to Taiwan. I look forward to this sale being finalized, and I will keep engaging with our allies to find new partners and continue existing partnerships that support Ohio jobs,” he added.
President Trump visited the JSMC during a trip to Ohio in March. The facility nearly shut its doors five years ago, but was saved in January after the Trump administration reinvigorated the plant with a $714 million order for 174 Abrams tanks.
“Well, you better love me. I kept this place open,” Trump said during his visit, as The Ohio Star reported. “And now you’re doing record business. The job you do is incredible and I’m thrilled to be here in Ohio.”
“We’re here today to celebrate a resounding victory for all of you, for Northwest Ohio, and for our great military and for our entire country,” he continued. “After so many years of budget cuts and layoffs, today jobs are coming back and pouring back, frankly, like never before.”
Mandi Merritt, regional communications director for the Republican National Committee, told The Ohio Star that the proposed sale will “not only strengthen our country’s national security efforts, but help boost manufacturing in Lima, Ohio.”
“President Trump has kept his word to bring back manufacturing jobs to the Buckeye State and rebuild our military by investing in the JSMC,” she said. “The continued revitalization of this plant is part of President Trump’s ‘Promises Made, Promises Kept’ agenda that is working for Ohioans.”
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