Caterpillar News: Stock Bounces, Broun Takes Credit for Athens-Oconee Deal
As citizens await the Athens-Oconee Caterpillar plant, incumbent Rep. Paul Broun uses the economic development deal as a campaign talking point.
Caterpillar, which announced in February it will build a major manufacturing plant on the Athens-Oconee line, has seen a bump in stock value in the past couple of days as the overall market has risen. The increase stopped a slide that has been blamed for a chunk of the Dow Jones' recent downturn.
Caterpillar's stock increase was attributed partly to China, which lowered its benchmark lending rate in an effort to bolster its economy, helping boost the Dow Jones by more than 300 points over two days.
Caterpillar's stock increase also reflects the company's recent decision to buy ERA Mining Machinery Limited. ERA designs and sells coal mining equipment throughout China.
Caterpillar executives have said that the U.S. coal-mining industry is slowing and demand for natural gas is on the rise. The company's statement reflects not only Caterpillar's decision to profit from coal business in China, but also its partnership with Westport Innovations, which was announced this week.
Domestically, the company has received some criticism for its treatment of employees. In Joliet, Ill., Caterpillar union workers are striking due to what they call a lack of living wage and decreasing starting pay for new hires.
Closer to home, Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) has taken partial credit for the upcoming Athens-Oconee plant as part of his reelection campaign, the Walton Tribune reports. Broun has stated that his work in bringing Caterpillar to Georgia is part of his broader work to increase jobs in the state.
What are your latest thoughts on Caterpillar? Will the upcoming plant increase Rep. Broun's chance at reelection?