Tax breaks for unsafe conditions

Documentary "American Factory."


It is one thing to know that companies routinely trample on their workers — it is quite another to have their executives look in the camera and admit it.

That’s just what happens in Netflix’s Oscar-nominated documentary “American Factory,” the first project from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions company, in partnership with Participant Media. Produced and directed by repeat nominees Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, it tells the disturbing and all too common story about a company that fools politicians and uses tax breaks to knowingly put profits above people and communities.

In the case of “American Factory,” the Chinese auto glass manufacturer Fuyao takes over, with great fanfare, part of a shuttered General Motors plant in Dayton, Ohio, in 2014.

The company committed to an initial $230 million in capital investment and promises at least 800 jobs. It is given a government tax credit estimated at almost $9.7 million and $6.6 million in grants from JobsOhio, the state’s private development arm. When Fuyao expands its plans in 2015, it receives $4 million more from JobsOhio with its commitment to invest $130 million and hire an additional 750 workers.


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