He has also long played in the corridors of power. Apart from the current French president, Mr. Macron, he was also close to the previous president, Nicolas Sarkozy as well as Tony Blair, the former British prime minister. (Mr. Trump asked Arnault to "say hi to Emmanuel" for him, despite "we have our little disputes every once in awhile.") Yet, Mr. Arnault has never been so public about his adaptation to Mr. Trump, or that of his most prominent brand, as he was in Texas.
Plans for the Texas plant, called Louis Vuitton Rochambeau Ranch by Marshal Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau a general responsible for the French forces in America during the Revolutionary War, were developed in 201
Vuitton, the most valuable luxury brand in the world, according to Forbes, is the largest brand in the LVMH stable of more than 70 fashion, beauty, alcohol and hospitality names . LVMH, which had 2018 revenue of 46.8 billion euros (nearly $ 52 billion), has 754 stores and employs approximately 33,000 people in the United States alone . And it invested $ 1 billion in the country's economy last year in wages, taxes and property, according to Mr. Arnault.
There are already two Louis Vuitton workshops in California in San Dimas and Irwin (for the past 30 years, about half of the bags Vuitton sold in the United States have been made in the United States), and the company has had what Mr. Burke called a " special relationship "with the United States since Georges Vuitton son of Louis, attended the Chicago World Fair in 1893 . Business executives had been looking for another US business base to meet local demand in what is their largest market.
They considered North Carolina, but chose to purchase about 265 acres in Texas instead, partly because of central location and, they said, coastal all accessibility, and partly because of Texas history as a leatherworking center. Part of the deal was a 10-year, 75 percent tax cut of about $ 91,900 a year, although Mr. Burke said it was insignificant. The county also agreed to expand the local roads, add a roundabout for Vuitton trucks, insert high-speed internet cables and add street lights.
In return, Vuitton has promised 1,000 jobs; the company signed President Trump's "Pledge to America's Workers," an education and training initiative, the week before its opening. However, there are currently only 150 people employed in Texas (there are a further 760 in California) – though it still makes Vuitton the county's fourth largest employer. Burke refused to reveal how much the Texas plant cost, but President Trump announced it in his speech: $ 50 million (a spokesman for Vuitton later confirmed the figure).