With Owens-Illinois Inc. drawing closer to breaking ground on a $35 million expansion of its research and development center at its Perrysburg headquarters, the glass maker on Thursday was visited by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who is working on a bill to restore the federal research and development tax credit that could help O-I.

Research and development “is how you stay in business and how you stay competitive around the world. The tax system doesn’t always work for that. Too often, our tax system encourages outsourcing and doesn’t encourage the kind of R&D long term that we need to attract investment and do what we need to do here,” said Mr. Brown (D., Ohio), speaking to nearly two dozen O-I researchers after touring the company’s R&D center.

Mr. Brown, who has supported efforts to expand Ohio’s manufacturing base, said that six months ago he and six Democratic senators drafted a bill, the 21st Century Investment Act of 2012, which he hopes to get passed next year.

Mr. Brown said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) also is proposing a bill to restore the federal tax credit, which expired at the end of 2011. “I think we can work out something together,” Mr. Brown said.

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