Caterpillar becomes latest company to flee Democrat-controlled Illinois

The company said it it is in their "best strategic interest" to leave Illinois

Updated: June 14, 2022 - 5:31pm

Global equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. on Tuesday announced plans to move its global headquarters from Deerfield, Illinois, to Irving, Texas, following Boeing's exodus from the Democrat-controlled state last month.

Caterpillar, a Fortune 100 company, has operated in Illinois for more than 110 years.

The manufacturer has "had a presence in Texas since the 1960s across several areas of the company," Caterpillar said in a press release.

Illinois still has the largest concentration of Caterpillar employees globally, the company stressed.

While Caterpillar did not give a direct reason for the relocation, CEO and Chairman Jim Umpleby said in a press release: "We believe it’s in the best strategic interest of the company to make this move, which supports Caterpillar’s strategy for profitable growth as we help our customers build a better, more sustainable world."

Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker responded to the company's decision by claiming his state "is on the rise" and that "we've built more small businesses than our big state counterparts like California, Texas, New York, and Florida."

In a statement obtained by NBC Chicago reporter Mary Ann Ahern, Pritzker said the state government will continue to support the 17,400 Illinois residents who work for the company.

Aviation manufacturer Boeing Co. announced last month that it will relocate its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia, Reuters reported. The company moved after state and local tax credits expired.

Businesses are not the only things leaving Illinois. The Land of Lincoln lost one congressional district following the 2020 Census. 

Illinois is rapidly losing residents. The state is estimated to have lost more than 1% of its population between April 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, according to Census data.  

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