On September 27, Ford Motor Company announced plans to invest $5.6 billion at the Memphis Regional Megasite in Stanton, Tennessee, to build an electric vehicle (EV) assembly and battery plant, jointly with SK Innovation. The facility, dubbed “Blue Oval City” by Ford (in a reference to its corporate logo), is projected to employ 5,800 people as Ford makes its first big foray into EV production. The same week, Ford and SK Innovation revealed plans for two more battery plants in Glendale, Kentucky, south of Louisville, at an estimated cost of $5.8 billion.
On June 15, the United States and the European Union announced an agreement to finally solve their decades-long dispute over subsidies given to Boeing and Airbus. This was followed by a parallel agreement with the United Kingdom on June 17, since the UK is part of the Airbus consortium, but has exited the European Union.
Just four days after I mentioned that Boeing did not repay the billions it had already received from the 2003 Washington state subsidy package, the World Trade Organization approved EU retaliation for these subsidies in the form of $4 billion per year of tariffs on U.S. goods.
Boeing is ending production of the 787 Dreamliner at Everett, Washington, and moving it to its newer facility in North Charleston, South Carolina. The company says this is the most efficient approach to reducing production of the jet from 10 per year to six per year in response to falling demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. Moving production to South Carolina means that more than 1,000 Boeing workers at its Everett plant will likely lose their jobs as they no longer have a model to build.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has created an associated economic crisis as many businesses have been forced to close because of lack of demand (travel, for example) or social distancing (too many to list). With predictions of a possible 32% unemployment rate in the United States, how does the response to the economic crisis here compare with those of other countries?