Sriracha CEO Compares California to Communist Vietnam, Texas Officials to Court Company

Sriracha hot sauce manufacturer Huy Fong Foods has spent the past few months in an intense legal battle with the city of Irwindale California over their plant’s caustic smell. The lawsuit has already caused a partial shutdown of Sriracha’s Irwindale factory, after a restraining order to shut down the plant entirely was denied by a California Judge.

According to Huy Fong Foods CEO, David Tran, the city’s over zealous persecution of the 30 year old California plant reminds him of growing up in Communist Vietnam.

“Today, I feel almost the same. Even now, we live in (the) USA, and my feeling, the government, not a big difference," he said. 

At a local city council meeting, the New York Times reported that Tran asked, “Why do you want to shut me down...I’m not sure why the U.S.A. lets local government do stupid things like this.

Though Tran says he plans to stay in California, draconian restrictions and a continued legal assault by the city and its residents may leave the chile giant no choice. Monday, a delegation of Texas Republicans traveled to the Huy Fong plant in an attempt to entice the manufacturer to move their business to Texas. Business Insider reports that Texas Governor Rick Perry, “is optimistic the Sriracha delegation will make a solid pitch.”

“Texas’ low taxes, predictable regulations, fair courts and world-class workforce make our state the ideal place for any business looking to relocate or expand…we’re Texas, we know a thing or two about hot food and even hotter business climates," Perry said. "We look forward to meeting you all.” says a tweet from Huy Fong Foods, greeting two members of the delegation.

“Texas leads the nation in job creation” said Governor Perry whose state give out more business incentives than any other state in the nation. At 19.1 billion dollars a year, Texas gives over three times to businesses what Michigan, who spends the second largest amount on business incentives, at 6.65 billion, spends. Currently, Texas boasts four of the nation’s fastest growing cities as ranked by Forbes, including its capital Austin, which has enjoyed the number one spot for the past four years.

Texas’ business friendly environment actively encourages companies to move to the Lone Star State. Should the delegation’s efforts be successful, Huy Fong Foods will join Toyota and countless other companies who have abandoned the sinking California ship of state for Texas.  

In his life, David Tran has already had to flee one communist state for a free one. Here’s to hoping he can do it again.

Written by Patrick Kane. Follow him on Twitter @PatVKane.


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