One reason for the trip: to preserve hundreds of jobs in Chicago.
CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reports on the potential casualties of the U.S.-China trade war.
The 100 milllion dollar CRRC facility looks nearly ready for business.
The Chinese company is expected to build hundreds of next generation rail cars for the CTA . The construction and production providing 300 local jobs, including 200 factory positions.
“I work with steel and my father was a steel worker, and that means a lot to me that they keep those types of jobs here,” said James Maynard.
“We’re also going to make sure that those 200 factory jobs that were planned here do not become victim of President Trump’s trade war,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
His concerns: tariffs, including those on steel, could mean additional costs to make the trains here resulting in fewer jobs or a decision to possibly produce them in a plant in Massachusetts.
“I’m going to make sure they understand how personally I see this,” said Emanuel.
“200 jobs is huge in the 10th ward. We have a 22 percent unemployment rate,” said Ald. Susan Sadlowski-Garza.
She said she appreciates the mayor’s proactive efforts, hoping his trip prevents an economic derailment for the company with tracks leading right into it.
The multi-day trip will cover both China as well as Japan. The mayor adding the total scope involves 750-1,000 jobs. His message to CRRC is to reassure them and instill confidence that the city remains an active partner in all of this.