NC House Leaders Establish Bipartisan Economic Development and Foreign Trade Caucus | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

    RALEIGH, NC     This week, House Majority Leader John Bell and House Minority Leader Robert Reives came together to establish and co-chair a new, bipartisan caucus within the North Carolina General Assembly, with Rep. Reives announcing the news on the House Floor on Wednesday.

    The Economic Development and Foreign Trade ("EDFT") Caucus was created to promote economic development and trade in North Carolina and to establish durable relationships with the private sector, as well as foreign countries. The Caucus consists of 37 members from both the majority and minority parties in the House of Representatives, and will be jointly chaired by Rep. Bell and Rep. Reives.

    "Businesses, small and large, are flocking to North Carolina," said House Majority Leader John Bell. "From agriculture and manufacturing to banking and technology, we are at the forefront when it comes to attracting some of the most exciting, sought-after, and promising businesses. This new bipartisan caucus will further strengthen our efforts to ensure North Carolina remains a top destination for jobs, businesses, and economic opportunities."

    "I am proud to be a co-chair of the Economic Development and Foreign Trade Caucus," House Democratic Leader Robert Reives said. "My district has seen a whirlwind of major economic development deals in the past two years, and I want to build upon that progress for all of our state. We can work together as Republicans and Democrats to ensure every North Carolinian enjoys opportunity and prosperity."

    Since 2021, North Carolina has experienced a record amount of interest from manufacturers as private producers began to address some of the changes in demand and shifting supply chains in the aftermath of the pandemic. This has resulted in over $10 billion of planned private investment and announcements for over 10,000 new manufacturing jobs.

    This resurgent manufacturing boom was secured in part by the hard work of a bipartisan coalition of state officials and agencies, including EDPNC, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Transportation, the Governor's Office, and the lawmakers of the General Assembly, who approved $680 million in state investment to secure deals with several large manufacturers to locate to NC.

    The EDFT Caucus was formed out of the desire to take advantage of this unique moment in NC's manufacturing history, and to build on the ongoing work of state lawmakers and public officials, as they continue to work together with business leaders and foreign investors.

    The Caucus will serve as a versatile and responsive mechanism within the General Assembly for engaging with the private sector and foreign dignitaries, that will raise NC's international profile as a destination for manufacturing, and will pursue policies that increase prosperity for all North Carolinians.
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