Caterpillar’s announcement that it plans to move its global headquarters from Illinois to an existing office in Texas was greeted with concern and dismay in Illinois.
Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby made national and international headlines with the brief news release this week.
Reaction was swift to the news about Caterpillar leaving Deerfield for Irving, Texas. Here are some of the comments from politicians:
Three Illinois Democrats issue joint statement about Caterpillar
U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth and U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17) released a joint statement about Caterpillar.
“Caterpillar’s surprise decision to move its headquarters from Illinois after nearly 100 years is extremely disappointing. While in terms of jobs impact for Illinois, this transition will only directly affect about 1.5 percent of Illinois’ 17,000 Caterpillar employees, we will do everything we can to encourage Caterpillar to not only preserve these jobs, but also follow through on its promise to continue hiring even more Illinoisans in the weeks and months to come, including meeting its 500 hire goal in Decatur and to grow the number of jobs in downstate Illinois.”
Texas governor Greg Abbott celebrates relocation of Caterpillar headquarters
Texas governor Greg Abbott said Caterpillar’s relocation serves as a testament to the “boundless opportunity” Texas has to offer.
“Caterpillar’s global headquarters relocation is a major win for the people of North Texas and the entire state, now making Texas home to 54 Fortune 500 corporate headquarters. I am proud to welcome Caterpillar’s headquarters to Texas and am excited for the economic opportunities this will create for Texans. Businesses of all sizes and people from all backgrounds can grow and succeed in the Lone Star State because we champion a world-class economic environment fueled by the lowest business operating costs in the nation, a reasonable regulatory environment, and a lower cost of living coupled with an exceptional quality of life.”
City of Peoria makes statement on Caterpillar leaving Illinois
Peoria, the former home of Caterpillar’s world headquarters, released a brief statement about Caterpillar’s local connections.
“Caterpillar continues to have a significant presence in Peoria as an employer and as a civic and philanthropic leader. We wish them well with this move and will continue to support their employees and team members here in Peoria.”
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Illinois governor says Caterpillar’s move is ‘disappointing’
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker asserted that despite Caterpillar’s move, Illinois has become a leader in attracting small and large corporations. He reiterated his administration’s commitment to driving job growth throughout the state.
“It’s disappointing to see Caterpillar move their 240 headquarters employees out of Deerfield over the next several years when so many companies are coming in,” Pritzker said. “We will continue to support the 17,400 Illinoisans who work for the company in East Peoria, Mapleton, Mossville, Pontiac and Decatur – which remains Caterpillar’s largest manufacturing plant in North America.”
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Congressman says move is ‘a blow to our state’
U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, released the following statement:
“Caterpillar’s decision to move its headquarters from Illinois is deeply disappointing, as was its leadership’s misguided decision to leave Peoria in 2017. The Greater Peoria Area and central Illinois remain the home to much of Caterpillar’s workforce in Illinois, and this decision will leave many workers in our community with questions that deserve answers from Caterpillar’s leadership. I will continue to work to ensure that Caterpillar’s leadership keeps their commitment to Illinois’ workforce and minimizes any repercussions this could have on our downstate communities.
“For nearly 100 years, Illinoisans have helped build Caterpillar into the company it has become, it is a part of our identity, and this move is a blow to our state. We need to change the trajectory of Illinois and work to provide a better business climate, more competitive tax policies, and more growth opportunities. Despite what Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois Democrats say, Illinois businesses and workers are over-taxed, over-regulated, and will be impacted by this move. Caterpillar’s move should be a wake-up call for the Governor and Democratic legislature who have pushed for higher taxes, soft-on-crime policies, more regulations, and punished our energy sector.”
Candidate for Illinois governor makes pitch to improve the state
Jesse Sullivan, a Republican candidate for Illinois governor posted multiple tweets after the news broke about Caterpillar. Here’s one:
“Enough with losing all these people and jobs.
“We need a commitment to growth!
“As governor, I will lower taxes and fight for jobs, children, and working families. Illinois should be the economic heart of the Midwest!
“We need to WIN AGAIN!”
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Esther Joy King
Esther Joy King, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House seat representing Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, which includes parts of Peoria, issued the following tweet:
“Incredibly disappointing, but unfortunately, not surprising. They are going where people are moving and that is, unfortunately, not Illinois. We have a chance to change this trajectory in November.”
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Journal Star readers on Facebook
Of course, politicians were not the only people with something to say about Caterpillar headquarters leaving Illinois. The Journal Star’s story drew hundreds of comments on Facebook.
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Media perspective in Illinois
Brenden Moore, a government and politics reporter for Lee Enterprises, tweeted about Caterpillar headquarters leaving Illinois.
“CAT is an iconic Illinois company,” Moore said in his tweet. “This, at the very least, will be a blow to the state’s psyche — even if the largest concentration of employees continue to be based here.”
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