COMPANY STILL USING PORT OF SAVANNAH
|| By FITSNEWS || Tokyo-based Bridgestone is one of several global tire manufacturers who have announced manufacturing facilities in South Carolina in recent years – lured by ginormous taxpayer-funded incentive packages.
Have those deals paid dividends for the Palmetto State’s economy?
Eh … South Carolina’s labor participation rate currently stands at 59.4 percent (well below the national rate of 62.6 percent, which itself is at four-decade lows). Also, our citizens continue to earn far less than their national peers.
So no, not really …
Anyway … in exchange for receiving massive government subsidies to locate its new off-road radial tire plant in Graniteville, S.C. (bringing 350 jobs to Aiken County), Bridgestone reportedly struck a deal with Palmetto State officials to shift all of their export business to the government-run Port of Charleston, S.C.
So … has the company made good on its word?
No, according to sources familiar with the ongoing dispute.
“They got $5 million with a promise to use the South Carolina port,” one source told us. “They refuse to even speak to them. They continue to use Savannah.”
Port sources tell FITS Bridgestone does do business in Charleston, but added “we are not exclusive” – noting Bridgestone still exports its larger tires out of Savannah.
Port officials are confident they will get more of Bridgestone’s business as they move forward with a proposed harbor deepening plan – which cleared a key regulatory hurdle in Washington, D.C. last month.
Good. Let’s hope so.
In addition to shelling out millions to companies like Bridgestone, South Carolina taxpayers are shelling out millions to enhance our port infrastructure – eschewing private investment in the process.
It would be shame to shell out all that money and watch business go to a competitor … although despite its initial tough talk, the Haley administration clearly has a soft spot for Georgia.