Trump Transition

Trump, Pence tour Carrier plant to tout job-saving deal

President-elect tours Carrier plant to tout job-saving deal

 

President-elect Donald Trump touched down in wingman Mike Pence's home state Thursday to take a bow for their dramatic, job-saving deal with Carrier air conditioning.

The stop, in the state Vice President-elect Pence still serves as governor, came amid a "thank you" tour of the Midwestern states that helped propel their ticket to victory.

"I will tell you that United Technologies and Carrier stepped up, and now they're keeping over 1,100 people," Trump said. "It's so great."

Trump said he got involved after seeing a report on Carrier's announcement it would leave for Mexico. Trump said he was moved by a Carrier employee and Trump supporter who promised his co-workers that Trump wouldn't let the company leave.

"It's because of that guy," Trump said, scanning the assembled throng and explaining how he reached out to the company's top brass.

"Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences," Trump thundered, before tempering the threat with pledges for deregulation and lower taxes.

"We're going to do great things for businesses," Trump said. "There's no reason for them to leave anymore."

Before Trump spoke, Pence told his fellow Hoosiers they had cause to celebrate.

"It’s a great day for working people all across the U.S.A.," Pence said, speaking before Trump. "The State of Indiana is proud.

"Since the 1950s, Carrier has been a part of Indiana’s success story, and thanks to our president-elect, Carrier has decided to stay and grow right here in Indiana. We are so grateful."

Trump and Pence were at the factory on the west side of Indianapolis, where they toured the facility they helped keep in the U.S., thanks in part to a $7 million tax break from the Hoosier State.

In February, the heating and air conditioning company said that it would shutter the plant and send jobs to Mexico, and video of angry workers being informed about the decision soon went viral.

“Big day on Thursday for Indiana and the great workers of that wonderful state. We will keep our companies and jobs in the U.S. Thanks, Carrier,” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Trump threatened to impose sharp tariffs on any company that shifted its factories to Mexico. And his advisers have since promoted lower corporate tax rates as a means of keeping jobs in the U.S.

By enabling the plant to stay open, the deal spares about 800 union workers whose jobs were going to be outsourced to Mexico, according to federal officials who were briefed by the company. This suggests that hundreds will still lose their jobs at the factory, where roughly 1,400 workers were slated to be laid off.

Also, neither Trump nor Carrier has yet to say what the workers might have to give up or precisely what threats or incentives were used to get the manufacturer to change its mind. The company attributed its decision to the incoming Trump administration and financial incentives provided by Indiana, which is something of a reversal, since earlier offers from the state had failed to sway Carrier from decamping to Mexico.

“Today’s announcement is possible because the incoming Trump-Pence administration has emphasized to us its commitment to support the business community and create an improved, more competitive U.S. business climate,” the company said in a statement released Wednesday.

Trump will later hold a campaign-style rally in Cincinnati, the first of several stops on the “USA Thank You Tour 2016” planned this month to revisit the states that helped him capture the White House. Trump, who has long spoken of feeding off the energy of his raucous crowds, first floated the idea of a victory tour just days after winning the election, only to instead prioritize filling some of his Cabinet positions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report