President Barack Obama has tabbed Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens to join his team of outside economic advisors. Members of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board include former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman William Donaldson, TIAA-CREF CEO Roger Ferguson, Harvard University professor Martin Feldstein and General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey Immelt.
Although Obama said last week that Caterpillar may re-hire some of recently laid-off workers if the economic stimulus bill goes into effect, Owens was more cautious in a statement Caterpillar released.
"As I indicated yesterday, the President and I fundamentally agree that the U.S. stimulus package will be beneficial to the U.S. economy and should spur demand for the types of products made by Caterpillar," Owens said. "The passage of significant stimulus packages in the United States and abroad would help move the global economy toward a recovery, and if these packages are enacted quickly, they could stimulate demand for our products that would likely, over time, provide Caterpillar the opportunity to recall employees who have been laid off during this downturn. We know this won't happen overnight, but I am confident that swift passage of the stimulus will lay the important groundwork to rebuild our workforce."