(CNSNews.com) – The Obama administration allowed millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds to go to foreign companies, despite recent statements by President Barack Obama that he opposes “shipping jobs overseas."
“I want to stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs and factories overseas,” Obama said in a speech in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Tuesday.
“As long as I’m president, I will keep fighting to make sure jobs are located here in the United States of America,” said Obama.
However, Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus spending law--the $787 billion American Recovery and Reivnestment Act--gave millions of federal dollars to foreign companies or funded domestic companies that built factories in foreign countries or bought foreign products.
For example, there is the North Carolina LED manufacturer Cree Inc. Cree was awarded $39 million through a stimulus-funded tax credit program in January 2010. However, half of the company’s employees are in China and the company opened a manufacturing plant in Huizhou City, China in November 2009, according to an article in the industry publication LEDs Magazine.
According to the same article, Cree CEO Chuck Swodoba said he did not consider Cree Inc. to be run like a completely American company.
“Cree management never runs this company as a US company. We consider Cree to be a global company with local wisdoms,” Swodoba said.
Swodoba also said he would continue expanding into China, adding that Cree would keep creating jobs there because it could take advantage of both China’s human resources and its “state-of-the-art technology.”
“We will continue to invest here [China] for both human talent and the most state-of-the-art technologies,” he said.
Another example of stimulus outsourcing is Japanese wind energy firm Eurus Energy, whose U.S. subsidiary, Eurus Energy America, received $91 million in stimulus funds to build a wind farm in Texas, according to a 2010 report from American University. That wind farm reportedly was built with wind turbines manufactured by another Japanese company – Mitsubishi.
“Eurus Energy America, the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese firm, received $91 million in stimulus money for its Bull Creek wind farm in Texas. The farm consists of 180 Mitsubishi turbines,” the American University report said.
Eurus told American University that the wind farm was actually built by British firm RES Americas and is now being run by EnXco, an American subsidiary of the French energy firm EDF Energies Nouvelles.
“Illustrating the often international nature of deals in the U.S. wind industry, a company executive told the Watchdog Institute that his company used RES Americas, a British firm, as the general contractor to build its facility. Eurus is now employing EnXco, a subsidiary of French renewable energy firm EDF Energies Nouvelles, to operate the farm,” the report said.
Another example of the Obama administration funding foreign companies is a $337 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy’s green energy lending program.
That loan went to California energy firm Sempra Energy for a solar power array in Arizona. However, according to a Feb. 4, 2011 New York Times report, Sempra Energy bought its solar panels from the Chinese firm Suntech.
The project, known as Mesquite Solar 1, reportedly used 800,000 of the Chinese solar panels.
Perhaps the best-known example of Obama administration funding of foreign companies is its $500-million loan guarantee to Finnish automaker Fisker Automotive. That loan, part of the Energy Department’s electric vehicle lending program, was made to help Fisker establish a U.S. manufacturing presence.
However, the company never established an American factory, choosing instead to shutter its U.S. operations and continue building cars in Finland.