Goodyear ends operations in Venezuela

By Economic IndicatorsFOXBusiness

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American manufacturing giant Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will cease operations in poverty-stricken Venezuela due to deteriorating economic conditions and U.S. sanctions, the company confirmed to FOX Business on Monday.

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“Goodyear-Venezuela has made the difficult decision to stop producing tires,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. “Our goal had been to maintain its operations, but economic conditions and U.S. sanctions have made this impossible. We appreciate and thank the Goodyear-Venezuela associates for their contributions and commitment under very difficult conditions.”

The plant is said to be open, but non-functioning, according to a report from Reuters.

Goodyear is reportedly making severance payments and giving workers 10 tires each.

The tiremaker is the latest in a string of companies to pull or scale back Venezuelan operations, which have become increasingly difficult to maintain under socialist President Nicolás Maduro’s government. Others that have fled include Kellogg, General Motors and Kimberly-Clark.

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One company that’s staying the course on its Venezuelan operations is American energy giant Chevron.

The company confirmed to FOX Business last month that it intended to remain in the country for “many years to come,” despite having to reportedly evacuate executives from the country after Maduro’s government arrested two employees.

The United Nations said last month that 3 million people have left Venezuela throughout recent years as the economic and political conditions have deteriorated. Food shortages, rampant inflation and widespread violence remain serious challenges for residents.

The country’s opposition-controlled Congress published a report stating that the inflation rate rose more than 833,997 percent over the past year. Month over month, consumer prices rose 148 percent.

The International Monetary Fund cautions inflation could reach 10 million percent next year.

The country’s central bank stopped publishing economic data about three years ago.