Trump Strikes Deal with Carrier to Keep Manufacturing Jobs in the U.S.

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President-elect Trump visited a Carrier Corporation factory on Thursday, officially sealing a deal that will keep 1,000 manufacturing jobs from leaving Indiana for Mexico. Making good on his campaign promise to protect American factory jobs from cheap overseas labor, if in an incremental way, Trump hashed the deal out with  Vice President-elect and former Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

The deal was a response to Carrier’s decision earlier this year to lay off 2,000 workers at two of its Indiana plants, one in Indianapolis and another in Huntington. Trump was irate at the air-conditioning company’s announcement, using it as an example in his crusade to save American factory jobs, particularly in Rust Belt states, many of which were key to his victory last month.

Carrier released a statement on Wednesday, saying the deal “benefits our workers, the state of Indiana and our company.” The statement continued:

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 incentives offered by the state were an important consideration.

Trump and Pence offered a package of financial incentives to Carrier: the company would receive $700,000 per year, $7 million total, in tax breaks from the state of Indiana. Trump also threatened to cut $5-$6 billion in federal contracts from Carrier’s parent-company United Technologies, which accrues substantial profits from military contracts, including from the Pentagon, its largest customer.

Not everyone was a fan of the agreement. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), in an op-ed in The Washington Post on Thursday, said United Technologies “took Trump hostage and won.” Sanders, who like Trump campaigned on preserving American jobs, said Trump’s “Band-Aid solution” is a short-term fix. He added:

We need to re-instill an ethic of corporate patriotism. We need to send a very loud and clear message to corporate America: The era of outsourcing is over. Instead of offshoring jobs, the time has come for you to start bringing good-paying jobs back to America.

While Trump’s handshake with Carrier might make 1,000 workers and their families happy and secure, for the time being, the longer trend of job losses primarily to automation and increased efficiency will be difficult to reverse. According to an analysis from The New York Times, the U.S has lost nearly five million manufacturing jobs since 2000.

Alec Siegel
Alec Siegel is a staff writer at Law Street Media. When he’s not working at Law Street he’s either cooking a mediocre tofu dish or enjoying a run in the woods. His passions include: gooey chocolate chips, black coffee, mountains, the Animal Kingdom in general, and John Lennon. Baklava is his achilles heel. Contact Alec at ASiegel@LawStreetMedia.com.



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