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John Deere poised to move tractor cab manufacturing to Mexico

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Photo by Richard Baker/In Pictures via Getty Images

Deere & Co. announced on Thursday that it is moving its tractor cab production out of Waterloo, Iowa, and into Mexico.

What are the details?

According to a report from the Des Moines Register, the company has said that the move is in response to a "tight labor market" as well as the need to "make way for new products" at its Iowa plant. The company has a current plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, and is poised to move the tractor cab production to Mexico in 2024.

In a statement on the move, the company said, "The decision to move cab production ensures the company can balance workforce needs within the tight labor market, while also ensuring [the] Waterloo [plant] can open up floor space to manufacture new products."

The company has yet to specify what type of new product it plans to turn out at the Iowa plant, and it is unknown at the time of this reporting how many American employees may be impacted by the move.

"The number of employees affected will depend on production volumes and employee attrition over the next two years, as well as new product program needs," the outlet reported, and noted that without attrition, approximately 250 workers could lose their jobs as a result of the relocation.

Iowa Rep. Ras Smith (D) — whose father worked for Deere & Co. for at least 43 years before retiring — said that the news is "disappointing" and will especially impact middle-class families like his own.

"Many of us grew up playing with green tractors because our moms and dads worked there," Smith added. "It's helped a lot of families move into middle class."

Smith added that the employment pool is "shrinking" — a fact that "doesn't bode well for companies that want to expand."

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