WAPAKONETA — Australian box company Pratt Industries, which is building a recycled paper mill and corrugated box factory in Wapakoneta, will take centerstage during President Donald Trump’s visit to Wapakoneta this afternoon.
But what is Pratt Industries?
The company converts waste paper and cardboard into 100% recycled corrugated packaging and paper, with paper mills, box factories and distribution centers around the U.S. and Mexico.
An affiliate of Australia’s Visy Industries, Pratt Industries started its U.S. operations in 1991. It now claims $3 billion in annual revenue and is the fifth largest corrugated packaging company in the U.S.
Its major clients include Amazon, Proctor & Gamble, Home Depot, Unilever and the U.S. Postal Service.
Pratt Industries global chairman Anthony Pratt has been a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, pledging to invest $2 billion in the U.S. and create up to 5,000 new manufacturing jobs – many in the Midwest.
The company is investing about $500 million in Wapakoneta with the paper mill and corrugated box factory, which together are anticipated to create 300 new jobs paying an average wage of $22 to $25 per hour, according to the Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Council.
The paper mill portion is expected to begin operations in October, while the box factory is still under construction and should open sometime between the end of 2020 and early 2021.
Trump will be visiting the Wapakoneta factory with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to highlight the U.S.’s relationship with Australia.
It makes sense that the president chose to tour Pratt Industries, given Anthony Pratt’s public support for Trump.
In May 2017, shortly after Pratt announced his $2 billion investment in the U.S., Pratt told Fox and Friends that he has “tremendous faith” in the president.
“We’re very enthused in him. He’s creating jobs. He’s supporting manufacturing. And that’s why we’re doubling down on our investment in America,” Pratt told Fox News.
Trump was last in Ohio for a rally in Cincinnati on Aug. 1. His visit to Wapakoneta will be his 12fth visit to Ohio during his presidency.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.