Trump, Pence visit Carrier to announce deal to keep around 1,000 jobs
President-elect Donald Trump and vice president-elect Mike Pence visited Indianapolis Dec. 1 to officially announce that Carrier has agreed to keep around 1,000 jobs at its Indianapolis plant.
In February 2016, the company announced it would close down its plant and move its operations to Monterrey, Mexico. The new decision, however, comes after a deal with the state of Indiana that will give Carrier $7 million dollars worth of tax breaks, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The company said it will invest $16 million over the next two years in the Indianapolis location.
Pence, the current governor of Indiana and vice president-elect, told the crowd it was great to be back in Indiana and today was a victory for working people in America.
“I remember when Donald Trump was running for president, he said that if he was elected president of the United States, America would start winning again,” Pence said. “Well today, America won, and we have Donald Trump to thank.”
Pence also thanked the workers at Carrier for their hard work, resilience and work ethic in hard times. Pence said he met with the leaders of the company in March to try and keep the company in Indiana but soon realized “it was clear the die was cast.” He went on to say the reason for the company wanting to move operations to Mexico was due to the policies coming from Washington.
Trump spoke after Pence and talked about the election, companies leaving the country and the deal with Carrier. Trump also said he's had a “tremendous love affair” with Indiana since the primaries.
“This was where they were going to stop Trump, right," Trump said. "And that didn’t work out too well."
Trump went on to talk about the loss of manufacturing jobs in the rust belt and said companies are not going to leave the country anymore without consequences.
“One of the things we’ll be doing to keep them is, we’re going to be lowering our business tax from 35 percent hopefully down to 15 percent.” Trump said.
He also called the North American Free Trade Agreement a disaster and named it a “one way highway to Mexico.” Trump then spoke highly of United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier, calling it one of the top companies in the world.
“I will tell you that United Technologies and Carrier stepped it up,” Trump said.
Anthony Cook, a senior construction management major and chairman of the Ball State College Republicans, was happy about the deal. He remembers going to a Trump rally in Indianapolis and hearing Trump talk about Carrier’s decision to move to Mexico.
“I think it's fantastic he's already saved nearly 1,000 jobs and he isn't even in office yet,” Cook said. “Find me someone who's done that before.”
Cook believes the $7 million tax break is large, but the economic impact of keeping around 1,000 jobs in the state outweighs that cost.
The chairman of the Ball State College Republicans, said he feels like manufacturing jobs will never be back in full force like they were decades ago, but he thinks it’s important to have them.
“Not everybody is college material and you can get a good job working in a factory,” he said.
Cook said he also believes Indiana has been doing a good job at diversifying its economy over the last four years.
Morgan Aprill, a masters student in the TESOL program and a member of the Progressive Student Alliance, said she thought the news of the deal between the incoming administration and Carrier sounded good at first, but after looking into the details, she believes it’s not that great.
“This lays out a precedent that a business can threaten to move jobs abroad and then try to coerce the state for money and tax benefits,” Aprill said. “Until NAFTA is fixed, this will just keep happening.”
She also thinks the manufacturing workers need to be invested in so they can get training in other sectors.
“I doubt we can fix global corporations' exploitation of other labor forces through pushing money at them — they'll want more and more," she said. "That's how capitalism works."