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Cemtrex CEO says Paris accord withdrawal costs future jobs

Saagar Govil is chief executive of Cemtrex Inc.,

Saagar Govil is chief executive of Cemtrex Inc., an industrial products company in Farmingdale. Credit: Heather Walsh

President Trump’s withdrawal last week from the 2015 Paris climate accord to lower greenhouse gas emissions is costing future Long Island jobs, the chief executive of a Farmingdale industrial products company said.

“I’d be hiring if we’d passed the Paris climate accord,” Saagar Govil, chief executive of Cemtrex Inc., said in an interview. “They’d be Long Island jobs. I’d be hiring chemical engineers; I’d be hiring mechanical engineers; we’d hire sales people to reach out to companies where we could sell domestically and internationally,” he said in the Friday interview.

The publicly traded company makes emission monitors, environmental controls and air filtration systems along with other industrial equipment.

Govil, 30, said Trump’s withdrawal Thursday from the 195-nation climate deal hurts sales prospects for a $2 million Cemtrex system to capture and neutralize methane gas from coal mines.

“Because there’s no movement from a policy point of view, it’s not happening,” he said.

A study mentioned by Trump estimated that if the United States meets its Paris goal for reducing carbon emissions it will cost 2.7 million U.S. jobs by 2025. The study, commissioned by a pro-industry group, projected the sharpest declines in coal, cement, and iron and steel, and the loss of 440,000 manufacturing jobs.

Many economists think fewer jobs in polluting industries would be offset by more in renewable energy.

About a dozen of Cemtrex’s 577 employees are on Long Island and about 150 are in York, Pennsylvania. The bulk of the workforce is in Europe, including Germany and Romania, Govil said.

Shares of Cemtrex fell 3.2 percent to close at $3.60 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. They are up 30 percent in the last 12 months.

In March, Cemtrex filed a $170 million libel lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Islip against a financial blogger who said that company insiders made undisclosed sales of stock while promoters were being paid to elevate the share price. Govil said the company has been unable to locate the blogger, identified in court papers as Ricardo Antonio Pearson, and serve him with a summons.

In recent weeks the company has bought back shares and issued a 2-cent common stock dividend to “address some concerns about our intentions,” Govil said.

With The Associated Press


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