REPUBLICAN presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeated his claim that he will stop eating Oreos, citing the biscuit maker’s decision to close a plant in Chicago and move it to Mexico.
“I’m never eating Oreos again,” Mr Trump said, before adding that he would consider it if he could find some that were made in the US.
Oreo’s parent company Mondelez International said last month that it has decided to invest 130 million dollars (£82 million) in building four new production lines at a plant in Mexico, which will replace nine older production lines at its Chicago plant.
That will mean the number of jobs at the Chicago plant will go from about 1,200 to about 600, said Laurie Guzzinati, a Mondelez representative. But the plant in Chicago will remain open.
Ms Guzzinati said the decision to invest in the Mexico plant came after discussions with union representatives for workers at the Chicago plant. She said the company determined that the new production lines would cost 46 million dollars (£29 million) less per year in Mexico than in Chicago, and said labour was “one of many factors”.
Ms Guzzinati noted that Oreos continue to be made in some US plants, including in New Jersey, Oregon and Virginia.
The Mondelez plant in Salinas, Mexico, opened in late 2014, and the four additional production lines are expected to be completed by mid-2016. Two of those lines will make Oreo biscuits, Ms Guzzinati said.
Mondelez, which also makes Chips Ahoy biscuits and Trident chewing gum, has said its “supply chain reinvention plan” is part of its broader push to slash costs and improve productivity.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump has opened up a new media feud, taking on another popular TV news personality as his appearances continue to draw big ratings.
Mr Trump engaged in a prolonged confrontation with Jorge Ramos, the Miami-based presenter for Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, during a news conference in Dubuque, Iowa.
Mr Ramos began to ask Mr Trump about his immigration proposal, which includes ending automatic citizenship for infants born in the United States to parents in the country illegally.
Mr Trump interrupted him, saying he had not called on Mr Ramos before repeatedly telling him to “sit down” and then saying: “Go back to Univision.”
As one of Mr Trump’s security team approached Mr Ramos, the presenter continued to speak, saying: “You cannot deport 11 million people.” Mr Ramos was referring to Mr Trump’s proposal to deport all people in the country illegally before allowing some of them to return.
As he was taken from the room, Mr Ramos said: “You cannot build a 1,900-mile wall,” another proposal in Mr Trump’s plan.
Moments later, Mr Trump defended Mr Ramos’s removal, saying: “He just stands up and starts screaming. Maybe he’s at fault also.”
The incident happened the day after Mr Trump resumed his feud with Fox News Channel presenter Megyn Kelly.
Mr Trump noted Ms Kelly’s return from a holiday on Monday night by tweeting that he liked her show more while she was away. He said Ms Kelly “must have had a terrible vacation” because “she’s really off her game”, and retweeted a message that referred to her as a bimbo.
Fox News chief Roger Ailes called on Mr Trump to apologise.
The billionaire businessman’s immigration proposal has sparked intense debate within the 2016 Republican field.
Several candidates, including former Florida governor Jeb Bush, have called it “unrealistic”.
Mr Ramos was later allowed back into Tuesday’s news conference. Mr Trump greeted him politely, though they quickly resumed their argument, interrupting each other during an extended back-and-forth.
“Your immigration plan, it is full of empty promises,” Mr Ramos began. “You cannot deny citizenship to children born in this country.”
“Why do you say that?” Mr Trump replied. “Some of the great legal scholars agree that’s not true.”
Citizenship for infants born in the United States is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. Changing that would require amending the Constitution, a cumbersome process in which change must be approved by Congress and then by two-thirds of the 50 state legislatures.
During the five-minute exchange, Mr Ramos claimed that 40 per cent of people in the country illegally enter through airports, not over the Mexican border. “I don’t believe that. I don’t believe it,” Mr Trump responded.
A 2006 report by the Pew Hispanic Centre found that up to 45 per cent of the people illegally in the US entered with legal visas which have since expired.
Mr Trump said he did not believe that a majority of immigrants in the US illegally were criminals, or in the country to commit crimes. “Most of them are good people,” he said. But he described recent cases where people had been killed by assailants later determined to be in the country illegally.
Finally, Mr Trump reminded Mr Ramos that he was suing Univision, which dropped Mr Trump’s Miss Universe pageant after he described Mexican immigrants in the US illegally as “criminals” and “rapists”.
“Do you know how many Latinos work for me? Do you know how many Hispanics work for me?” Mr Trump said. “Thousands. They love me.”
Isaac Lee, chief executive officer of Univision, responded to the confrontation with a written comment: “We’d love for Mr Trump to sit down for an in-depth interview with Jorge to talk about the specifics of his proposals.”