After Carrier pledge to keep jobs in US, more companies may follow
Donald Trump didn’t wait to be sworn in to stop an air conditioner manufacturer from pulling out of America, and his top aides say he’ll turn up the heat on other companies planning to send jobs outside the U.S.
Carrier’s announcement Tuesday that, after negotiations with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, it is reversing plans to close an Indiana factory shows the “Trump effect” is real, according to his backers. They say Trump can stop America from bleeding manufacturing jobs to Mexico, China and other places where labor is cheaper, taxes are lower and regulations are lax.
“So many hundreds and hundreds of companies are doing this,” Trump said. “We have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us. We have to stop our companies from leaving the United States.”
Carrier will keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indianapolis after telling workers earlier in the year that it would be closing its plant and moving production to Mexico at the cost of 1,400 jobs.
Video of company officials telling workers about the move to Mexico in February surfaced online and became a high-profile example for Trump of manufacturing jobs being shipped abroad to Mexico due to what he called bad trade deals that hurt American workers. In a presidential debate against Hillary Clinton in September, he blasted Carrier’s decision and pledged to do something about it if elected.
A Trump transition source told Fox News that Carrier executives went to Trump Tower on Tuesday to work out the deal, after Trump had tweeted on Thanksgiving Day that he was working on a deal with the company.
Pence had taken the lead in negotiating with parent company United Technologies officials, and had discussed priorities for the upcoming Republican Congress, including a tax reform package that could benefit manufacturers.
CNBC, which first broke the news, reported the company decided the savings that would result from moving to Mexico was not worth the fallout of incurring the wrath of the new administration, including the threat to the business it currently does with the government, such as orders for defense equipment.
Carrier workers reacted with delight at the news.
“I would like to tell [Trump] ‘Thank you for going out of your way and taking your holiday away from your family and working on Carrier employees and sticking to your word and going to bat for all of us and keeping our jobs here,’” Robin Maynard, a Carrier employee for 24 years, told “Fox & Friends” Wednesday.
Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller said the move showed the power of an administration focused on jobs.
“This is the power of the presidency, this is the power of a team coming in that is so focused on our economy and helping to create and save American jobs, to protect American jobs that are here, this saves 1,000 jobs, this is huge,” Miller told Fox News Channel.
The Carrier announcement comes after Ford Chairman Bill Ford told Trump earlier this month that the automaker will not be moving production of Lincolns out of Kentucky to Mexico, in what is seen as a sign that the company aims to work with the new administration on keeping jobs in America.
Trump made keeping jobs from being shipped abroad a cornerstone of his campaign, and his focus on manufacturing jobs and trade is seen as being a key factor in his victory in states such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Trump, in an interview with The New York Times last week, said he has spoken to Apple CEO Tim Cook about building a new plant in the U.S. instead of in places such as Vietnam or China. He said in the same interview he had also received a call from Microsoft CEO Bill Gates but did not go into detail about what was discussed.
Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary, also hinted at more deals coming down the line, telling CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Wednesday that Trump and his administration are “going to have open communications with business leaders.”