Canton Repository

November 1, 2001

Timken backs stimulus package 


WASHINGTON — W.R. “Tim” Timken Jr. took some good-natured ribbing from President Bush on Wednesday in exchange for the Canton steel chief’s endorsement of several of the president’s top initiatives.

During an appearance before the National Association of Manufacturers, Bush elicited laughter, saying, “I also want to thank Tim very much for his friendship and his introduction. I didn’t realize you were quite so eloquent,” the president said. “You must be taking speech lessons.”

Timken, outgoing chairman of the group, had introduced Bush at the organization’s semiannual board of directors meeting. Timken  is chairman and chief executive officer of Timken Co., a bearings and steel manufacturer in Canton.

Timken, a major contributor to Bush’s campaign last year, gave a pitch for several of the president’s initiatives.

“We especially are interested in his stimulus package,” Timken said, referring to Bush’s plan to combine government spending and tax cuts to jump start growth in the faltering economy. “We’d like to see that passed by Congress. We’d like to see his energy package passed by Congress and we believe this president should have trade promotional authority. We support the resident.”

Noting that the U.S. Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the economy contracted in the third quarter, Bush called on Congress to approve his stimulus package before the end of November.

He asked for support for his energy plan, which includes allowing oil companies to drill in a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

“And, as Tim mentioned,” Bush said during his 14-minute speech, “I need to have what’s called trade promotion authority.” That authority would allow Bush to negotiate trade agreements with other nations that Congress could approve or reject, but not modify.

Timken served his last day as chairman of the nation’s largest industrial trade association Wednesday. The incoming chairman is Arthur D. Wainwright, chairman and chief executive officer of Wainwright Industries in St. Louis.

Timken remains a member of the association’s board and chairman of its executive committee.