Finger pointing after SC lands jobs instead of NC

NC Senator Phil Berger (image courtesy General Assembly of North Carolina)

October 6, 2011 4:23:04 PM PDT
German tire maker Continental Tire is building a $500 million plant in South Carolina that will bring 1,600 jobs to the state.

The announcement Thursday left North Carolina officials pointing fingers at each other because they had hoped to land the deal for Brunswick County.

The first phase of the project will be completed by 2017 and the second by 2021, with 8 million tires for passenger cars and light trucks coming out of the plant yearly.

Continental Tire also announced Thursday it will spend $4 million expanding a plant in northern Lancaster County, adding 80 jobs.

"This announcement is a big win for our state," South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said in a statement announcing the plant

Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas, praised South Carolina's strong push to get the facility. The state offered incentives to the company, but the details have not been released.

North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue blamed Republicans in the General Assembly for South Carolina landing the deal. She said they wouldn't come through with incentive money.

But Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger said Thursday the company wanted a $45 million incentive package and Perdue never identified where the money was to come from.

Berger said without that guidance, the deal couldn't go forward.

He also said the deal fell prey to pay-to-play politics. The Associated Press reported last week that the Brunswick County land proposed for the project was owned by a state legislator and Democratic donors who had given more than $52,000 to Perdue's campaigns.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Perdue denied that.

"Sen. Berger is making reckless accusations in order to evade responsibility for his own decision, a decision that cost North Carolina 1,300 jobs. I didn’t have any involvement in the site selection process, and it didn’t matter to me what piece of land the company selected, as long as the 1,300 jobs came to North Carolina," she said in part.

Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | See Click Fix
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook

Load Comments