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Editorial: The Next Mexico

Remy International is closing the Bay Shore auto parts plant it purchased less than eight months ago. “USA has an outstanding reputation with strong product distribution and a diverse product line,” the acquiring CEO said back then. But the short gap between purchase and closing suggests Remy never intended to keep USA’s plant or its 271 workers, just its customers.

The loss will surely have a ripple effect.

Add in the 32 LI employees being terminated by Microsoft, and it’s roughly $12-$14 million in annual salaries that won’t get spent at businesses on Long Island or generate any taxes for schools and cops.  

It seems there’s more at issue than the corporate tax rate—recently cut from 7.1 percent to 6.5 percent. Born in a garage in Indiana, Remy now does its manufacturing in countries such as Mexico, Hungary and China, where wages and regulations are low.  

Many online commenters believe that only by lowering taxes and wages will we be able to “compete.” But that seems to us a race to the bottom. It’s not our ambition to be the next Hungary or Mexico.

What do you think? Will cutting wages and taxes be the shot in the arm Long Island needs? Or just take us further down the rabbit hole? Vote at www.liweekly.com