|John Kerry's Foreign Enterprises|
|Netlore Archive: Email flier claims presidential candidate John Kerry, who has decried the outsourcing of U.S. jobs to foreign countries, owns overseas factories by virtue of his marriage to heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry|
Email example contributed by C. Smith, 1 April 2004:
Subject: Fw: Kerry's Foreign Enterprises
Shortly after reading the following e-mail content, I happened to look at the label of a jar of Heinz sandwich slice pickles. Yep...."Made in Mexico"
Check some of your Heinz products.
"Sen. John Kerry keeps talking about U.S. corporations leaving this country and setting up shop in foreign countries, taking thousands of jobs with them. He is right, because that has happened. However, he is trying to blame it on George W. Bush.
As far as I know, Bush has not moved one factory out of this country because he is not the owner of a single factory.
That cannot be said about Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz-Kerry. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Kerry's own 32 factories in Europe and 18 in Asia and the Pacific. In addition, their company, the Heinz Company, leases four factories in Europe and four in Asia. Also, they own 27 factories in North America, some of which are in Mexico and the Caribbean.
I wonder how many hundreds of American workers lost their jobs when these plants relocated in foreign countries. I also wonder if the workers in Mexico and Asia are paid the same wages and benefits as workers in the United States.
Of course they're not. However, Kerry demands that other companies that relocate should pay the same benefits they did in the U.S. Why does he not demand this of the Heinz Company, since he is married to the owner?
If Kerry is elected, will he and his wife close all those foreign factories and bring all those jobs back to America? Of course they won't. They're making millions off that cheap labor.
Case in point: while it is accurate to say that the H.J. Heinz Company operates factories outside the United States, it is not true that Teresa Heinz Kerry much less her husband, John Kerry owns that business or has any say in, or culpability for, its operations. Therefore, the conclusion that Kerry is a hypocrite for decrying corporate outsourcing is based on false premises.
It's a baseless smear, in other words.
In a statement released on March 22, 2004, the H.J. Heinz Company affirmed the following:
Neither Mrs. Heinz Kerry nor Senator Kerry nor any of the Heinz trusts or endowments either individually or collectively holds a significant percentage of shares of the H. J. Heinz Company. In 1995 the Heinz Endowments and family trusts sold a large percentage of Heinz shares in a secondary share offering to diversify their holdings. As a result, their current holdings are under 4 percent.
Incidentally, the implication that H.J. Heinz has "relocated" U.S. factories abroad is equally fallacious. Like other food manufacturers who sell perishable products worldwide, from the outset Heinz has maintained local factories in various parts of the world to minimize the gap between production and consumption hardly the textbook definition of "outsourcing."
Sources and further reading:
H. J. Heinz Company Confirms Its Widely Held Public Ownership And Non-Partisan Status
Company statement, 22 March 2004
Heinz Co. Relishes Political Neutrality
Washington Post, 4 May 2004
Last updated: 08/19/04