Under Obama, Companies Moving Profits, Jobs to China

October 19, 2012

A major auto parts supplier will relocate its operations to China in a bid to be closer to its principal customers, which include General Motors, the auto giant that also has moved major production operations to China since the Obama administration assumed majority control of the company.

Sensata Technologies, which manufactures sensor devices, announced earlier this year that it would move its operations from Illinois to other locales, including China.

President Obama, who is in charge of negotiating trade with China, is a stakeholder in Sensata, according to the New York Times.

The timely move abroad has raised concern on Capitol Hill where lawmakers fear that Sensata’s impending layoffs will further compound their districts’ economic woes.

Sensata’s jump to China also indicates that it is chasing profits in a country that has wooed many United States businesses that are hungry to cut costs.

GM, for instance, replaced its former CEO, Rick Wagoner, in 2009 at the Obama administration’s request. The auto giant’s new head, Daniel Akerson, who rose to the position after the administration appointed him to GM’s board, has celebrated the company’s move to China.

Akerson has even stated that he is working "for China" and that  "seven out of ten of our vehicles were made outside the United States," according to reports.

Under team Obama’s watch, GM has outsourced the production of American vehicles to China in record numbers. GM has said that it plans to double the number of cars it produces in China by 2016, even as it continues to cut thousands of jobs in America.

On the other hand, GM’s Chinese division has added many thousands of jobs during this time.

Sensata’s efforts to chase profits abroad, particularly with the Obama administration-controlled GM, could personally benefit the president.

Obama has as much as $100,000 invested in a retirement plan that includes Sensata shares.