SACRAMENTO (CBSLA.com/AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown said Friday that it appears there was little California could have done to keep Toyota, the world’s largest car manufacturer, from moving its U.S. headquarters and about 3,000 jobs to Texas.
“Change is inevitable,” he told reporters after addressing the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Brown cited comments from senior Toyota officials who said the decision to consolidate operations in Plano, a suburb of Dallas, was based partly on its proximity to company manufacturing plants in Texas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Indiana. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the state offered Toyota $40 million in incentives, and the mayor of Plano said the city aggressively courted Toyota.
“So, you know, this is a company decision, whether — why and how — I think they explained it,” Brown said. “But now, if you don’t want to believe them, they gave their reasons — and their reasons were consolidation.”
Republicans have said Toyota’s move is another sign of California’s inhospitable business climate and failure to aggressively court companies, even as Texas and New York target California businesses with what they say are more favorable tax and regulatory environments.
“Texas has now made the effort, made the pitch and created an environment that welcomes business. That says, ‘We want you. We want you to be successful. We’re not going to unfairly tax you. We’re not going to over-regulate you. We’re going to create an environment where you can grow, expand, and most importantly, create jobs,'” said Ruben Gonzalez, LA- area Chamber of Commerce SR, VP earlier this week.
The two leading Republicans who are campaigning for governor in hopes of challenging Brown in November criticized him for failing to enact policies that retain major companies such as Toyota.
Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official, said this week that Toyota’s move was “just the latest consequence of Gov. Brown’s continued failure to support California job creators — and middle-class workers are the ones whose livelihoods will be devastated as a result.”
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, said California is “watching job after job after job leave without a fight.”
Toyota’s latest move follows Occidental Petroleum and even the Southern California hot sauce maker, that’s become an international success story, Sriracha, will consider whether to move its operations out-of-state.
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