WASHINGTON – Dozens of 3M goods displayed at Monday's White House Made in America Product Showcase stood out in contrast to a room that included a rowing-machine maker from Rhode Island, a bicycle manufacturer from Utah and an Oregon winery.
The Maplewood-based multinational laid out everything from Post-it notes to respirators, showing the range you would expect from a 117-year-old company with $32.8 billion in sales in 2018 across multiple product lines.
The company was among the largest of the 50 businesses displaying wares.
"It's an honor to be here to represent 3M and our innovation and manufacturing," said Reilly Goodwin, a customer and stakeholder engagement manager in 3M's sustainability division. "You have products ranging from our health care business to transportation and electronics, industrial safety and consumer products."
Asthma inhalers and film to protect wounds shared space with a shingle, Scotch tape and a thermal imaging camera mounted on a mannequin.
"3M is known for its consumer products," Goodwin said. "But we are in a lot of things."
3M said it is committed to manufacturing products in the U.S. and is a net exporter of $3.5 billion worth of products. But the company also has a business strategy of "serving customers where they are," so 3M does half of its manufacturing outside the U.S.
The company employs 37,412 people in the U.S., said Michelle Woodard, the company's innovation manager. The company employs 93,516 worldwide.
3M also contributes parts to other U.S. manufacturers.
The annual U.S. product celebration is part of President Donald Trump's "America First" movement. The president wants everyone to "buy American" and "hire American."
3M employed 20,000 in U.S. manufacturing jobs in 2018, a company spokeswoman said. She could not say if that was more or less than when Trump took office.
In hopes of creating U.S. manufacturing jobs, the president has adopted a trade policy that places protective tariffs on some foreign-made goods imported by American businesses, especially Chinese-made goods.
On Monday, he signed an executive order requiring goods to be made with 75% American parts in order to qualify as American made. That is up from 50%. For iron and steel, the threshold is now 95% to be considered American made.
It is unclear how the new executive order will affect those who exhibited at the White House Monday. Critics say Trump's tariffs hurt American businesses and consumers as well as the Chinese by adding to acquisition costs that, in turn, lead to price increases.
3M declined to discuss the president's trade policy.