Obama to visit factory that makes pipes for oil industry

15th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Despite the unchecked oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama plans a visit next week to an Ohio factory that makes steel pipes used by the oil and gas industry, the White House announced Friday.

Obama's official schedule calls for him to visit on Tuesday the Vallourec and Mannesmann (V&M) Star factory in Youngstown, Ohio, which has used economic stimulus funds to expand the site and eventually double the size of its workforce.

The White House said Obama would deliver a speech to workers on jobs and the economy after touring the facilities, which it described as a "steel manufacturing company."

The company, which is 81 percent owned by French company Vallourec, said on its website that it is the leading producer in North America of "seamless pipe for the oil and natural gas industry."

The cover of V&M Star's catalogue is adorned with a photograph of two oil platforms.

Asked whether the visit might pose image problems for Obama at a time when the Gulf of Mexico is threatened by a catastrophic oil leak, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs had no immediate response.

© 2010 AFP

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