Governor Bill Haslam is looking to lure more Japanese-owned businesses to Tennessee. The undervalued dollar has prompted carmaker Nissan to shift more production here from Japan, and Haslam sees room to add more, having wrapped up a business trip to Japan earlier this month.
“We’ve done well historically there – we have 33 thousand jobs in Tennessee from Japanese-owned companies; we think there’s some more headway to make.”
Besides Nissan, the state has enjoyed favor from a few other big Japanese manufacturers, like Bridgestone tires. And one called Denso in East Tennessee employs close to four thousand people, making car parts like spark plugs and O2 sensors.
Haslam also mentioned one bright spot in trying to draw business from other parts of Asia is automation, because it gets easier for the U.S. to compete on labor costs as machines take over more production work. “There’s good news and bad news in that, too,” the governor added.