County officials cut short meeting with Chinese delegation here to look at NUMMI plant options

Supervisor says it was 'upsetting' discussions had to be shortened because of already-scheduled board meeting

Alameda County supervisors Tuesday cut short their meeting with Chinese officials who were here to explore options for keeping the NUMMI plant open because they had their own county board meeting to attend.

The high-ranking delegation of elected officials and business leaders from China made the trip to check out the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont at the urging of County Supervisor Keith Carson.

Hundreds of NUMMI's 4,800 employees live in Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley.

After touring the Fremont plant, the nine-member delegation met with Carson, Supervisor Scott Haggerty, County Administrator Susan Muranishi and other county officials at the county building in Oakland, Carson said Wednesday.

However, Carson, Haggerty and Muranishi had to cut the meeting short because the Board of Supervisors had a lengthy hearing on appointing a successor to District Attorney Tom Orloff, who suddenly announced his retirement last week.

Carson, who chairs the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, said the meeting with the Chinese delegation, which was only in the area for 24 hours, had been arranged two weeks ago and it was "upsetting" that it had to be shortened.

NUMMI is a 25-year-old joint venture between General Motors and Toyota, but GM announced in June that it would withdraw from the partnership and Toyota announced on Aug. 27 that it won't order any vehicles from the auto plant after next March.

Toyota is still making Toyota Corolla cars and Toyota Tacoma trucks at the Fremont facility but 4,600 employees there will lose their jobs after March if another automaker doesn't take over the facility.

Carson said he reached out to various foreign officials in February after hearing rumors that the NUMMI venture might be coming to an end.

He said there have been "a series of communications back and forth" between local leaders and officials in China, Korea and other countries.

Carson said the Chinese delegation is the first foreign group to visit the NUMMI plant but he anticipates that there will be visits in the future by officials from Korea and other countries, although nothing definite has been arranged so far.

Carson declined to reveal many specifics about the Chinese group except to say that it comes from an area with a large economic and technology development zone.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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Like this comment
Posted by Pat
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 24, 2009 at 9:32 am appointment meeting is more important the 5,000 jobs on the line. I am glad the government officials have thier priorities in the right place.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:44 am

Please write to your elected officials to keep the Chinese government out of the US. Jobs are one thing, but the Chinese ownership of a big business, the fewer communists in the US the better.

Like this comment
Posted by !
a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:57 am

Your comment of ...

"Please write to your elected officials to keep the Chinese government out of the US. Jobs are one thing, but the Chinese ownership of a big business, the fewer communists in the US the better."

... deserves a reply.

If your comment would have been made prior to Obama's presidency, I would be inclined to agree with you. However, I believe that the Chinese now are engaged in more Capitalism than America under Obama.

Normally, I would not be making the following statement, however, America would be in much better shape currently if we exported the Obama democrats who are succeeding on destroying our free market capitalist country.

Like this comment
Posted by RedHead
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm

That's why cholo wants to keep the commies out. We have enough in our own government. Where the hell is tail gunner jose?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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