Power Over Federal Contracts May Have Figured into Trump’s Indiana Carrier Jobs Deal

FILE - In this July 13, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump le

As Donald Trump announced he had reached a deal to save American jobs before he even took the oath of office, some have speculated that Carrier reversed its decision to move jobs to Mexico over fears that the company may lose federal contracts once Trump becomes president.

During the recently completed campaign, President-elect Trump promised that he would work to save American jobs, and with the help of his vice president-elect, he negotiated with the Carrier air conditioning company to keep upwards to 1,000 jobs in Indiana — jobs that were otherwise moving to Mexico.

Trump noted on the day before Thanksgiving that he was working on a deal with the manufacturer. By November 29, the deal was confirmed by Carrier via a statement on Twitter.

Officials at the company insist that the deal was nothing out of the ordinary and was based on some $700,000 in state tax breaks offered through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Politico reported.

“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,” a company statement said. “The incentives offered by the state were an important consideration.”

But some noted that Carrier may have agreed to the deal at least as much to safeguard its federal contracts as to save Hoosier State jobs.

Former Republican Indiana Lt. Gov. John Mutz told Politico that it is possible that Carrier’s parent company, high tech manufacturer United Technologies, is worried that a President Trump might exercise influence over the company’s federal contracts, and the deal was struck to protect those interests.

“This deal is no different than other deals that we put together at the IEDC to retain jobs, but the fact is that the difference is that United Technologies depends on the federal government for lots of business,” Mutz said.

The former Lt. Gov. went on to note that the big change is that now we have a new president.

Mutz’s comments highlight the power a president could bring to bear on industries that have federal contracts.

The effect of the deal was immediate as Carrier employees went to the media to express their gratitude at the deal struck by the President-elect.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.


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