An Indiana-based manufacturer of air conditioners said Tuesday evening that it has reached an agreement with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, to keep nearly 1,000 jobs in the state that had been slated to move to Mexico.
A Trump transition official confirmed that Trump and Pence will travel to the state this week to announce the agreement with the company, Carrier, one which hands the incoming administration an early symbolic victory as it seeks to boost U.S. manufacturing employment.
“We are pleased to have reached a deal with President-elect Trump & VP-elect Pence to keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indy,” the company said in a Twitter post. “More details soon.”
It was not immediately clear how Trump secured the move. The manufacturer’s change of heart comes five days after Trump tweeted that he was personally pressuring Carrier to keep work in the United States, sticking to a campaign pledge he made in April to keep the factory work in town.
“It’s not like we have an 80 percent chance of keeping them or a 95 percent,” Trump said at an Indianapolis rally in April. “One-hundred percent.”
CNBC reported the deal includes new inducements from the state of Indiana, the sort of package typically negotiated by a governor and not a president or president-elect. Earlier this year, the state got an agreement for Carrier to save 400 jobs in Indiana.
The New York Times reported that Trump was on Thursday expected to reiterate his campaign plan to lower taxes and reduce regulation on businesses, and said he was expected to “tone down” threats of tariffs on imported products from companies who move jobs out of the United States.
Chuck Jones, president of the United Steelworkers 1999, which represents Carrier employees, said neither Trump nor Carrier involved the union in the process. “We’re trying to figure out what the hell is going on,” he said.
About 1,400 Carrier employees work at the Indianapolis plant, which builds furnaces. United Technologies has also planned to shutter a plant in Huntington, Ind., and transfer 700 jobs south of the border. It was unclear Tuesday whether they still intend to do so.
The planned closures are part of United’s wider strategy to slash costs. Representatives have told state officials that the company will save about $65 million annually by shifting production from Indiana to Mexico.
This is the second time since his election that Trump has claimed credit for a company’s decision not to move production to Mexico.
In the first instance, which involved a Ford plant in Louisville, Kentucky, the automaker said it had chosen not to move sport-utility vehicle production to a Mexico facility – a move that would not have resulted in any lost American jobs.
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