Carrier agreed to keep about 1,000 jobs at an Indiana factory that had been set to move to Mexico, marking a victory for President-elect Donald Trump on an issue that had become a rallying cry during his campaign.
“We are pleased to have reached a deal” with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to keep the work in the U.S., Carrier said Tuesday in a tweet. An event to announce the agreement is slated for Thursday in Indiana, where Pence is governor, according to people familiar with the matter.
Carrier said earlier this year it would move the furnace plant’s operations, eliminating 1,400 U.S. jobs, to keep production costs competitive. The decision garnered national notice after a worker’s cell-phone video of the announcement to employees took off on social media and generated criticism of Carrier parent United Technologies Corp., which is also a major defense contractor that supplies engines for U.S. fighter jets.
Trump, as well as Democratic U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, seized on the announcement and used the company in their presidential campaigns as an example of how U.S. workers were being hurt by trade deals. In April, Trump said he would impose a hefty tax on Carrier’s Mexican-made products and “within 24 hours, they’re going to call back: ‘Mr. President, we’ve decided to stay. We’re coming back to Indianapolis.’”
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— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2016
We are pleased to have reached a deal with President-elect Trump & VP-elect Pence to keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indy. More details soon.— Carrier (@Carrier) November 30, 2016
In the past week, Sanders called on Trump to use defense contracts and other issues as leverage to get United Technologies to keep the factory in Indiana. The Farmington, Connecticut-based company also makes Pratt & Whitney jet engines and Otis elevators, in addition to Carrier air conditioners and heating equipment.
United Technologies had stuck by its Carrier decision, with Chief Executive Officer Gregory Hayes saying shortly before this month’s presidential election that the move was necessary to keep pace with competitors who have moved manufacturing work to Mexico in the past decade. Trump tweeted on Thanksgiving that he was “making progress” with the company, and Carrier responded that day by saying it was in talks with the president-elect’s team.
The Carrier deal comes after Trump said he helped persuade Ford Motor Co. to keep a plant in Kentucky, though the company said it never intended to close the facility.
By Richard Clough