One of the key and earliest promises made by Donald Trump during the campaign was that he would keep manufacturing jobs in the United States.
His stated means or plans of doing so were for the most part either quite far-fetched or nonexistent.
Carrier, the big air conditioner company, had announced that it was moving 2,000 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. That decision was the perfect talking point for Trump’s stump into the hearts and minds of Rust Belt workers.
The New York Times reports that President-elect Trump and his Vice President-elect Mike Pence are planning to appear at Carrier’s Indianapolis plant to announce that they have struck a deal with the company to keep roughly half of the jobs in the state. The Times cites officials in the transition team and Carrier as sources.
While reversing the economic trends in the Rust Belt is a very tall order, getting Carrier to reverse course, even partially, would be a big symbolic boon. At the same time, outsourcing is a very small part of the equation, if any, when it comes to the Rust Belt’s woes.
According to the New York Times, in exchange for keeping the factory running in Indianapolis, the President-elect is expected to repeat his campaign pledges to be friendlier to businesses by lower corporate taxes and removing regulations. Trump is also expected to “tone down his rhetoric threatening 35 percent tariffs on companies like Carrier that shift production south of the border.
Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies, earns about 10 percent of its revenues from the federal government, with the Pentagon being its single largest customer. Its subsidiary, Pratt & Whitney, provides engines for the Air Force’s advanced fighters and many other planes.