When a White House advisor recently and callously dismissed auto manufacturing plants in the U.S. as "so-called factories," I immediately thought of the thousands of Americans reporting for work in Marysville, Ohio, Georgetown, Kentucky, West Point, Georgia, and many other communities. The idea that their "so-called" jobs aren’t as important as jobs at other companies is denigrating, revealing and shameful.
Contrary to the views this advisor apparently holds, those jobs mean everything to the people who hold them. They're real jobs, at real factories, paying real wages, supporting real families, who are building real communities. And they are real voters, many of whom supported his boss in the last election. If there's something wrong with all this, I’d like to know what that is.
International automakers such as BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and soon, Volvo and Mazda, are designing, manufacturing and selling more vehicles across the country than ever before. Thanks to the billions of dollars they have invested into their U.S. operations, 1.29 million American jobs have been created or supported. Americans who work at 32 international auto manufacturing plants in 14 states are not involved in simple “assembly” jobs. They and their colleagues at 65 R&D facilities in 16 states and hundreds of other facilities across the United States are involved from the earliest stages of a new vehicle’s creation beginning in research, design and development, through the manufacture of vehicles, engines and other parts and components, to finance, sales and service.
Every step involved in building an American car contributes to the U.S. economy – whether it is built in Michigan or in South Carolina. Every American job is important because these men and women are building better communities across the country. The high-risk game the Administration is playing with our trading partners and allies on autos tariffs could have serious consequences for today’s modern U.S. auto industry and the people whose livelihoods depend on it.
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