On a mission to China to protect 350 Chicago jobs threatened by a trade war, overnight Mayor Emanuel met with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and CRRC Sifang executives. The Mayor today announced the meetings were productive and the project will move forward with Chicago employees soon traveling to China for training.
“This project and the hundreds of jobs it will create should not fall victim to the Trump trade war,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Thanks to Chicago’s strong international partnerships this project is moving forward and creating a new economic engine on Chicago’s Southeast Side.”
CRRC Sifang is building a $100 million facility on the Southeast Side of Chicago that will assemble the CTA’s newest rail cars, the 7000-series, and create more than 350 skilled factory and new construction jobs.
The project was jeopardized by the Trump administration’s recent moves to impose steep tariffs on Chinese goods. The Mayor and a delegation of City and business leaders are in China this week to secure the project.
As part of CTA’s ongoing modernization efforts, last year the agency awarded a manufacturing contract to CRRC Sifang America, to build up to 846 new rail cars. The CTA’s first order of 400 rail cars will be assembled at the new facility and will replace CTA’s oldest railcars, which are more than 30 years old.
Once these new vehicles are in service, CTA will have one of the youngest fleets of any U.S. transit agency.