Sen. Rob Portman tours BASF plant


GREENVILLE — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) was in Greenville Friday to tour and meet employees at the BASF plant at 1175 Martin Street.

Portman called BASF a “great example of an Ohio employer that’s competing all around the world and doing so successfully and I want to help them anyway I can to add more jobs here in Darke County.”

Portman’s visit to the chemical manufacturer was partly in response to BASF’s announcement it is undertaking a $25 million upgrade of its production facilities.

“We’re adding process equipment to add capacity,” said BASF Plant Manager David Wynn. “We’re doing some control system upgrades, and improvements in our process safety.”

Wynn said all the improvements will take place within existing structures. He said that the 150-employee facility may look to add an additional 10 or so jobs as a result of the upgrade.

Portman said upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico could affect operations like BASF, where 10 to 15 percent of their product is exported overseas.

“One of the big markets, as you can imagine, is Canada and Mexico,” he said. “We have to be sure as we renegotiate this, we don’t lose markets down there. We want to sell more of the coatings here to other countries.”

Portman also said Congress hopes to pressure China to play “by the rules.”

“A level playing field for China and other countries, but China’s the one — we’ve got the biggest trade deficit with them — because they haven’t always played by the rules,” he said, explaining Congress will focus on intellectual property theft and aluminum and steel manufacturing.

On the GOP’s stalled plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, Portman said, “I’m not giving up. We came within one vote. It’s not working for Darke County, it’s not working for our country.” He noted 18 Ohio counties are now without an insurer, but one insurer may come back in some of those counties.

“What I’ve focused on is repeal AND replace,” he said. “I know we can do better. I know we can have more competition, that we can get the costs down. That’s a big deal, because if we don’t do that, I think you’re going to see more problems, based on every expert I’ve talked to.”

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U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) visited the BASF plant in Greenville Friday. Portman was there to tour the facilities and discuss manufacturing with BASF employees.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_Portman-0005-PRINT.jpgU.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) visited the BASF plant in Greenville Friday. Portman was there to tour the facilities and discuss manufacturing with BASF employees. Erik Martin | The Daily Advocate

By Erik Martin

emartin@dailyadvocate.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com