U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today after joining the Senate Auto Caucus:
"Alabama is a proven leader in automobile production and this caucus will focus on promoting manufacturing, regulatory, and trade policies that benefit American workers. Automobiles are Alabama's top export and our skilled workforce continues to impress on the world stage. Investment by leading manufacturers--Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, and Toyota--in communities throughout the state show that Alabama's productive economy is an ideal place for automakers to set-up shop. In addition, we continue to attract top flight suppliers.
Our focus as a nation--on policies ranging from immigration enforcement, trade, to energy and regulatory policy--must be on helping create more jobs and more opportunities for U.S. workers. We must put the interests of the American people first."
Senator Sessions joined the Senate Auto Caucus, with Senator Levin as the Democratic co-chair and Senator Portman as the Republican co-chair. The auto industry directly employs over 1.7 million people nationwide. Alabama is home to three automotive vehicle assembly plants (Honda, Hyundai, and Mercedes), two engine plants, and a growing automotive supplier network. In 2012, Alabama based assembly plants produced 888,000 vehicles, representing 25% of all passenger vehicles built in the South. Alabama exported $5.9 billion in automobiles to 80 countries last year, making the state 4th in the country in vehicle exports.
Senator Sessions is also the co-chair of the bipartisan Steel Caucus.