We’ve been seeing this a lot lately. Companies saying that Trump has convinced them to stay in the country. Would they have done this if Hillary had been elected? Nope, they wouldn’t be able to get out fast enough.
By Nelson D. Schwartz
From the earliest days of his campaign, Donald J. Trump made keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States his signature economic issue, and the decision by Carrier, the big air-conditioner company, to move over 2,000 of them from Indiana to Mexico was a tailor-made talking point for him on the stump.
On Thursday, Mr. Trump and Mike Pence, Indiana’s governor and the vice president-elect, plan to appear at Carrier’s Indianapolis factory to announce a deal with the company to keep roughly 1,000 jobs in the state, according to officials with the transition team as well as Carrier.
Mr. Trump will be hard-pressed to alter the economic forces that have hammered the Rust Belt for decades, but forcing Carrier and its parent company, United Technologies, to reverse course is a powerful tactical strike that will hearten his followers even before he takes office.
“I’m ready for him to come,” said Robin Maynard, a 24-year veteran of Carrier who builds high-efficiency furnaces and earns almost $24 an hour. “Now I can put my daughter through college without having to look for another job.”
It also signals that Mr. Trump is a different kind of Republican, willing to take on big business, at least in individual cases.
And just as only a confirmed anti-Communist like Richard Nixon could go to China, so only a businessman like Mr. Trump could take on corporate America without being called a Bernie Sanders-style socialist. If Barack Obama had tried the same maneuver, he’d probably have drawn criticism for intervening in the free market.
In exchange for keeping the factory running in Indianapolis, Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence are expected to reiterate their campaign pledges to be friendlier to businesses by easing regulations and overhauling the corporate tax code, according to a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump.
The state of Indiana also plans to give economic incentives to Carrier as part of the deal to stay, according to local officials.
The message from Mr. Trump that captivated the Carrier workers — keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States after decades of losses to overseas factories and automation — resonated throughout the Rust Belt. That promise, plus his opposition to pacts like the North American Free Trade Agreement, were key reasons he was able to edge out Hillary Clinton in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Political symbolism aside, saving 1,000 Carrier jobs doesn’t loom so large in an economy that’s created an average of 181,000 jobs a month this year, noted Jared Bernstein, a liberal economist who served as adviser in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011.