Canada-based Irving Consumer Products announced Aug. 9 that it would put a $400 million tissue factory in the Macon, Ga.
Company officials revealed plans for 200 new jobs and a high-tech plant at the Middle Georgia city’s Terminal Station, a historic building and event space.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal was among the attendees, accompanied by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who stood next to the governor, Macon Mayor Robert Reichert, executives and economic development officials when unveiling a photographic rendering of the proposed plant.
The facility is to be located in the Sofkee Industrial Park along with Korean tire manufacturer Kumho, which spent $450 million on its plant.
The Irving plant is to total 700,000 square feet, with construction beginning this summer and completion scheduled for 2019.
Irving makes tissue, paper towels and toilet paper under the Scotties, Royale and Majesta brands. The family company that has been around since 1882 and employs 15,000 people in the U.S. and Canada, including brothers who are sons of the founder and now serve as co-CEOs.
According to the Macon Telegraph, executives said the company plans to bring its same family-focused approach and long-term commitment to its workforce to Middle Georgia.
“We’re looking forward to building a strong relationship with the wonderful people of this community,” said Robert K. Irving, president of Irving Consumer Products, in a news release from Mr. Deal’s office.
The Telegraph also noted that executives said the wood used in tissue production would come from Maine and the company’s home province of New Brunswick.
The visit to Georgia by Mr. Ross, the U.S. commerce secretary, for the comes as the Trump administration prepares begin potentially tense negotiations with Mexico and Canada over NAFTA this month. At issue in those talks will be agricultural products like dairy and softwood lumber.
The deal seems perfectly primed for support from Mr. Ross, who has been an advocate of President Donald Trump’s “America First” stance on trade and has been tough on what he has called protectionist practices by Canada. In April, he approved a 20 percent duty on Canadian softwood lumber imports.