By Warren Scott
Thursday, Eagle Manufacturing President Joe Eddy acknowledged U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., with the National Award for Legislative Excellence from the National Association of Manufacturers.
The award is given by representatives of large, small and medium sized manufacturing companies to federal lawmakers who support legislation favoring their industry at least 70 percent of the time.
The presentation was part of an observance of National Manufacturing Day that also brought representatives of about 20 manufacturing companies and 39 Brooke High School students to Eagle's facilities.
Eddy said McKinley has fought against over-regulation of the coal industry and others, supported tax incentives for businesses to revitalize abandoned properties and pursue research and development.
Eddy was joined by Rebecca McPhail, president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, and Jerry Hodge, senior director of the National Association of Manufacturers.
"The work of Congressman McKinley to support and encourage the growth of manufacturing has been and will continue to be a key element of strengthening the manufacturing industry and our state. West Virginia is fortunate to have such strong representation at the federal level," McPhail said.
McKinley said he was honored to receive the award and had high respect for Eagle, a 122-year-old family-owned company that started in glass production, became a leading producer of fuel cans and now specializes in a wide array of containers, large and small, used to safely store and contain hazardous and other materials.
Asked his stance on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, McKinley said, "There's no way I'm going to support it. It ain't going to happen."
He likened the proposed trade deal to the North America and Central America free trade agreements, which he said hurt domestic industries.
"We want fair trade, not free trade," he said, adding he will continue to push for fines collected from countries charged with dumping subsidized imports to be disbursed to the domestic companies and workers they have hurt.
McKinley said he also will push for less regulation of coal and other industries, which he said has resulted in 400 West Virginia coal mines being closed, the loss of 83,000 coal mining jobs and a greatly diminished steel industry.
"Most of the things hurting manufacturing are coming through rules and regulations from the (Obama) administration, not laws (made by Congress)," he said.
McKinley said he sees great opportunities for growth from natural gas and is working with U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., to pass legislation that would allow the establishment of an ethane storage and distribution facility in the state.