Remarks at Ford Factory Tour Sanand

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Gujarat, India
January 12, 2015

Well, good morning, everybody. What a great team. How are you? Everybody learning everything you have to learn? Everybody knows how to build a car? All right.

This is very, very exciting for me. I was mentioning to Nigel that, back in my home state of Massachusetts, where I have lived all my life, my -- some of our friends up in the part of the country -- part of the state have a farm. And the whole farm is 360 acres. That's a big farm. I was just learning from Nigel that this plant is 460 acres of plant, which is absolutely extraordinary. And, as I think about what is going to go on here, it is really exciting for me to be able to come and visit and see this.

All of you know that in the United States we went through a transformation in our auto industry. And for a period of time the auto industry was very hard hit. There are a lot of reasons for that. But we believed in it, President Obama believed in it, and we helped the industry to turn around. And, as a result, not only do we now have a very exciting auto industry in Detroit and in other parts of the country, but look at this: we have a $1 billion investment right here in this plant, another $1 billion in another plant. There will be more than 11,000 jobs between those, and those will create something like 30,000 jobs here in India for all of the different suppliers and downstream companies that are part of the whole production process.

It is an amazing story. And you, each of you, those of you working here, are really very, very lucky in lots of ways, because you are defining the future for India and for the United States and for the world. This is the future. What Nigel was just talking about is more and more people are now gaining purchasing power, because, as the jobs grow, the economy grows, more and more trade takes place, more and more people who have been locked in poverty for too long are beginning to be able to be part of the global commerce. And there are still hundreds of millions of people out there, waiting to share in that.

So, what Nigel is saying is, as those people begin to get a better job, get a little bit of money, they're going to go out and buy a car. And that means building roads, garages, being able to make them economical. And also, having cars that are environmentally sound and friendly, because automobiles contribute to the greenhouse gases, which contributes to global climate change. So we all need to be very smart about the kinds of cars we design, and what we do, and the long-term effect on the surrounding community and the environment. But this is exciting, because it really represents the economic transformation that is bringing our countries closer and closer together.

I just was part of this vibrant Gujarat Summit that we had. I was with the Prime Minister yesterday. I know he is excited about coming out here, I think some time in March, and inaugurating this particular plant. And then you will officially be in production. But we talked about how, in so many different businesses, there are enormous possibilities for cooperation between the United States and India. And we are both democracies. We are the oldest democracy; you are the biggest democracy. And, together, we think we have an opportunity to say a lot to people about freedom, about opportunity, about respect, about rights, and about people's ability to be able to make their own choices and do better in life.

America and India share a passion for innovation and for thinking and for freedom. You will find, as you work here, and as you go on, that your lives are going to be significantly improved and better because of the kind of operation that is run here. I know you have a Happy Schools program, and you also have health care and other kinds of things. All of these are the kinds of benefits that come with a good job, a good company. And I want you all to know that, in my family, we have a Ford hybrid car. (Applause.) So I am happy to say that I am here with friends, I'm safe.

But let me just thank all of you very, very much. President Obama is very excited about coming. He is going to be your National Day guest during the observance in a couple of weeks. And he and the Prime Minister will meet, and I'm confident that they will be able to make some positive progress on some of the issues that we're working on together on energy, on our bilateral investments, the relationship with our economies. And we are very, very excited about the possibilities for a stronger and stronger relationship between the United States and India.

So, I wish you all well. I congratulate you on being part of an incredibly modern, amazingly state-of-the-art plant. I urge you all to learn as much as you can, work as hard as you can, listen to the safety rules. And I wish you all well, and thank you for a wonderful welcome here, at this truly amazing plant. It's a great privilege for me to be able to be here with you. Thank you so much. Thank you. (Applause.)