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“Cree Chip, China Heart”

- June 13, 2011

Obama Heads To North Carolina To Tout A Stimulus “Success Story,” Too Bad The Company Is Shifting Its Focus To China 

“Cree, The LED Light Company Based In The Triangle, Will Host President Barack Obama On Monday, The White House Says. Obama Will Tour The Company And Make Remarks To Workers At Cree.” (Barbara Barrett, “Obama Will Visit Cree Plant In N.C.,” The Charlotte Observer, 6/09/11)

ON BIDEN VISIT TO CREE IN 2009, WHITE HOUSE TOUTED THE MONEY AWARDED TO “A TRUE AMERICAN SUCCESS STORY”

Cree Received $39 Million From The Stimulus To Create Jobs At Its Factory In North Carolina. “Cree was chosen for a $39 million tax credit through this Recovery Act program, which is called the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, nicknamed 48C for its line in the tax code.   So far, the investments they’re using the credit to make, along with the private capital they’re putting into those investments, have led to 375 new factory jobs in the last year, and they’re planning to add 300 more next year.” (Jared Bernstein, “Recovery Act In Action #4: A 48C Story,” WhiteHouse.gov, 3/24/10)

  • White House: “Cree, The Recovery Act, And 48C Are A True American Success Story.” (Jared Bernstein, “Recovery Act In Action #4: A 48C Story,” WhiteHouse.gov, 3/24/10)

BUT CREE‘S CEO SAYS THE COMPANY’S HEART (AND EMPLOYEES) ARE IN CHINA

In Late 2010, Cree Opened Its First Factory Outside North America In Huizhou, China. “A grand opening ceremony was held on December 8, 2010 for Cree Huizhou Solid State Lighting Co., Ltd. at the Huizhou Zhongkai High-tech Industrial Development Zone in Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, China. The facility is Cree’s first LED chip manufacturing base outside North America, and this also makes Cree the first international LED company to set up a chip manufacturing facility in China.” (Tim Whitaker, “Cree Opens LED Chip Manufacturing Facility In Huizhou,” LEDs Magazine, 12/13/10)

More Than 50% Of Cree’s Employees Are Now Working In China And Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda Says They “Will Continue To Expand Our Operation In Huizhou.” “Describing China as a very important market for Cree, Swoboda said that currently more than 50% of Cree’s employees are working and living in Huizhou. ‘We will continue to invest here for both human talent and the most state-of-the-art technologies,’ he said, adding: ‘We have committed that in the coming 3-5 years, we will continue to expand our operation in Huizhou.’” (Tim Whitaker, “Cree Opens LED Chip Manufacturing Facility In Huizhou,” LEDs Magazine, 12/13/10)

Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda Said Cree’s Strategy Is “Cree Chip, China Heart.”  “Swoboda said that Cree’s development strategy is ‘Cree Chip, China Heart’, adding: ‘We will work to keep the close collaboration with governmental bureaus, industrial organizations and enterprises in China, where we push the healthy, scientific and orderly development of the LED industry in China with joint efforts with our business partners, to facilitate the LED installations in cities, and make many more contributions to energy savings and emission reductions in China.’” (Tim Whitaker, “Cree Opens LED Chip Manufacturing Facility In Huizhou,” LEDs Magazine, 12/13/10)

Even Though Cree Received Millions In U.S. Taxpayer-Backed Stimulus Funds, Swoboda Said “Cree Management Never Runs This Company As A US Company.” “Though Cree is a US-based, Nasdaq-listed company, Swoboda said that ‘Cree management never runs this company as a US company. We consider Cree to be a global company with local wisdoms.’” (Tim Whitaker, “Cree Opens LED Chip Manufacturing Facility In Huizhou,” LEDs Magazine, 12/13/10)

THIS ISN’T THE FIRST TIME, BILLIONS FROM STIMULUS HAVE GONE OVERSEAS

Stimulus Funds To Support Renewable Energy Industry Has Flowed Overseas, Despite Congressional Criticism And Calls For Change. “Money from the 2009 stimulus bill to help support the renewable energy industry continues to flow overseas, despite Congressional criticism and calls for change, according to a new analysis of the program by the Investigative Reporting Workshop.” (Russ Choma, “Renewable Energy Money Still Going Abroad, Despite Criticism From Congress,” Investigating Reporting Workshop/ABC’s World News Tonight/Watchdog Institute, 2/8/10)

Department Of Energy "Acknowledged" That Up To 80% Of Some Green Programs Went To Foreign Firms. "The Department of Energy estimated that 82,000 jobs have been created and has acknowledged that as much as 80 percent of some green programs, including $2.3 billion of manufacturing tax credits, went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in countries including China, South Korea and Spain, rather than in the United States." (Patrice Hill, "'Green' Jobs No Longer Golden In Stimulus," The Washington Times, 9/9/10)


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