American company Sutong China Tire Resources (SCTR) announced the purchase of a new plant in Anderson, Indiana last month. The company plans to invest $2 million to upgrade the warehouse to a distribution center that will supply the RV trailer and utility industry, chain and independent retail stores, and wholesalers. Not only will the plant provide 20-40 jobs for the fifth congressional district of Indiana, but SCTR will do so without tax incentives, meaning these jobs come without cost to the taxpayers.
SCTR is a US owned company that imports tires from China. Currently the company operates in three locations in the US: Houston and Hockley in Texas, and Elkhart, Indiana. It also operates in two locations in Canada and has offices in China. The Indiana plant, located just north of the Indianapolis metropolitan area along the Interstate 69 Corridor, most recently belonged to S&S Steel who put the site up for sale last year after filing for bankruptcy.
There are a number of China-based companies in Indiana such as Vanguard National Trailer Corporation, which employs approximately 500 people in Indiana and Nanshan America Companyin Lafayette which employs approximately 200 people. In 2015 Indiana imported $8 billion worth of products from China making the country Indiana’s largest goods supplier. Of this $8 billion, $318 million came from road wheels, parts, and accessories for motor vehicles. China is also Indiana’s sixth largest export partner, receiving $1 billion of goods from the state in 2015. Chinese exports to US totaled $483 billion in 2015; $2 billion of which came from tires and tubes.
Tara Duane is a Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington and a student at the University of Western Australia.