Did you know?

Through a regional approach to manufacturing, Caterpillar is able to meet its global demand.

Caterpillar Inc.: “Paving a brighter future…”

Photos courtesy of Caterpillar, Inc.

Since its inception in 1925, Caterpillar has grown to be the largest maker of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines in the world. The Fortune 50 company is also a leading services provider, offering financial, remanufacturing, logistics, rail and other services.

Headquartered in Peoria, Illinois, Caterpillar is an international company with American roots-manufacturing its machines and engines in every geographic region of the world. With operations in 50 countries and more than 100,000 employees worldwide, the company relies heavily on international markets. In 2007, about two thirds of Caterpillar’s $45 billion in sales occurred outside the United States. Nearly $12.7 billion worth of products was exported from the United States to approximately 200 countries and territories.

Reaping the benefits of trade

Photos courtesy of Caterpillar, Inc.

Jim Owens, Caterpillar’s chairman and chief executive officer, attributes much of the company’s economic success to the benefits of free trade. “Caterpillar is an excellent case study of how American workers can compete and win in the international marketplace,” he says. “With billions of dollars in products exported from our U.S. factories each year, it’s no exaggeration to say that many of our employees depend on the international economy for their livelihoods. That’s why we have been and will continue to be a strong advocate for international trade.”

With Caterpillar’s vast global reach, it’s no surprise that the company has been one of the strongest corporate voices in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Since the implementation of NAFTA, Caterpillar’s exports to Canada and Mexico have increased 300 and 473 percent, respectively. Job growth has gone hand in hand with export growth, resulting in Caterpillar’s U.S. employment increasing 33 percent in the years since the agreement’s passage. Employment in Canada and Mexico, where Caterpillar has had a manufacturing presence for nearly 30 years, has also increased-by nearly 8,000 workers in Mexico and 700 in Canada.

Caterpillar’s success in North America demonstrates how NAFTA continues to generate benefits for businesses, consumers and workers in all three countries. In 1982, Caterpillar constructed a factory in Monterrey, Mexico, producing parts for heavy-duty construction and earthmoving equipment. Among the products produced by this factory, which employs more than 3,300 workers, are dozer blades for Caterpillar track-type tractors. Once complete, these blades travel 1,500 miles north to East Peoria, Illinois, where American workers build the tractors, then export the finished products to countries around the world. Some of these dozers are exported to Canada, where they are used in the process of extracting petroleum from Alberta’s oil sands. The petroleum is sent through pipelines to the United States, where it is refined.

“Despite political rhetoric to the contrary, NAFTA has been a win-win-win,” Owens says. “It’s been good for the three nations’ economies, for companies like Caterpillar and for American, Mexican and Canadian workers.”

Source: U.S. Government / Caterpillar, Inc.