Steve Staub, co-owner of Staub Manufacturing Solutions in Harrison Twp. and a longtime advocate of Dayton manufacturing, met President Donald Trump last Friday at the White House.
Staub, 47, participated in a “listening session” for small manufacturers held by inviting members of the National Association of Manufacturers. Staub was there with representatives of 11 other companies from across the country.
“It was neat to have that small a group,” Staub said Wednesday, recalling the meeting.
Small manufacturers should be heard, Staub said. Most manufacturers are relatively small companies, with fewer than 50 employees. Staub has 28 employees.
It wasn’t the first time Staub had met Trump. Staub and his sister Sandy Keplinger, who is a company vice president and co-owner, hosted Trump in September during the presidential campaign. When he visited last year, Staub said Trump asked detailed questions about the company’s equipment, including its laser-cutting machinery.
“When he was here, he really listened,” Staub said.
Friday’s meeting was a session that covered taxes, trade, regulations and much more in just under an hour, Staub said. His company has seen increased costs in health care and materials, including price increases in metals that have risen steadily in the past six years. Staub attributes those higher costs in metals, at least in part, to higher costs for coal.
“We can win anywhere in the world,” he said. But he maintains that U.S. companies need what he calls a “even playing field.”
“When we send some something overseas, and they send something back to us, the taxes are 35 percent different,” he said.
The meeting happened just as the National Association of Manufacturers released its first “manufacturers’ outlook survey” since Trump took office, showing more than 93 percent of manufacturers are “feeling positive about their economic outlook,” NAM said.
“This is the highest reading in the survey’s 20-year history, up from 56.6 percent one year ago and 77.8 percent in December,” the organization said.
Read more about Staub’s visit to the White House in Sunday’s Dayton Daily News.
FIVE NEW BUSINESS READS