VOL. 127 | NO. 132 | Monday, July 09, 2012
Clinton Touts Business Cooperation in Horn Lake
By Bill Dries
Former President Bill Clinton said political leaders could learn a thing or two about working together from business leaders during the opening of an electric car plant Friday, July 6, in Horn Lake.
Clinton shared the stage in the GreenTech Automotive plant with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour before a group of 300 plant workers and political and civic leaders.
The plant is the base for a company that began as EuAuto in 2010 and was bought by a group of American investors and moved to the U.S. EuAuto was a Hong Kong-based company.
“Creative cooperation works. Constant conflict works only in politics – not in real life,” Clinton told the crowd. “We might think someday about making our politics work more like real life. That’s a story for another day.”
Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of GreenTech, is a close political ally of Clinton’s and a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
McAuliffe negotiated and worked with Barbour, a former Republican National Committee chairman, in making the decision to build the two facilities in North Mississippi.
GreenTech is still building a $60 million facility in nearby Tunica in addition to the plant in Horn Lake and another part of the process will remain in China.
“We bought it and moved it to America. They are all U.S.-made jobs,” McAuliffe said as Clinton shook hands along a rope line on the factory floor just a few feet away. “It’s a new technology. It’s not easy to start a car company. … We’ve got to have more manufacturing in the U.S.”
While McAuliffe talked about competing with China and the competition between that economy and the U.S. economy, Clinton talked about cooperation as well as competition.
“We are going to share the future with China. What we still have to decide is what kind of future we are going to share,” Clinton said.
Before the stop in Horn Lake, Clinton toured St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.