Trump visits Carrier plant, calls Indiana a ‘very special state’ as he announces deal to keep 1,100 jobs

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Gov. Mike Pence visited the Carrier plant on the west side of Indianapolis Thursday to announce a deal that would keep more than a thousand jobs in Indianapolis.

Trump made saving U.S. jobs one of his top campaign promises. Now CBS4 has learned that the state of Indiana has offered Carrier a $7 million tax incentive package over multiple years. Those incentives are contingent upon several factors including employment, job retention and capital investment.

Trump said Thursday that the deal would keep 1,100 jobs in Indiana and that Carrier would invest more than $16 million in the plant. Before the president-elect took the stage, Gov. Pence, the vice president-elect, spoke.

"It's a new day for manufacturing," Pence told the crowd. "Today America won... and we have Donald Trump to thank."

Pence called it a great day for working people across the state.

"We're a proud manufacturing state. We're home to low taxes, sensible regulations, great schools and roads and the best workforce in America."

When Trump took the stage, he spoke highly of Indiana during his remarks, saying his victory in the May primary helped his presidential campaign reach new heights.

"We had a tremendous love affair with the state of Indiana," Trump said. "This was the firewall. This was where they were going to stop Trump."

He said those efforts didn't work, adding that he "just loves the people (of Indiana). This has been a very special state for us."

He praised United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes several times throughout his speech, saying Hayes and his company "stepped up" to keep jobs in Indiana.

During his presidential campaign, Trump singled out Carrier, blasting the company’s decision to move jobs from Indiana to Mexico in a cost-cutting measure. Carrier made the announcement in February, saying 2,100 jobs would go south of the border—1,400 from the Indianapolis plant and 700 from Huntington.

On Tuesday, Trump and Carrier announced they’d reached a deal to keep hundreds of those jobs in Indianapolis, setting the stage for Thursday's visit from the president-elect and vice president-elect.

Trump reiterated his support for stronger borders, especially to the south with Mexico, and said people would be able to come and go "legally" through his "wall." The wall, he said, would prevent drugs from getting into the U.S., another point he often stated during his campaign. The president-elect said he wanted to lower the business tax from 35% to 15% and ease regulations to foster a climate more suitable for businesses.

"I want to let all the other companies know that we're going to do great things for businesses." He warned of "consequences" for businesses that choose to leave the U.S.

Carrier employee Jeff Blackford said he's worked for the company for 25 years. When he heard the news about cutting jobs, he said he was worried.

"I was scared, I’ve been here for 25 years and I didn’t know what I was going to do," he said.

Blackford said he's thankful for the new deal with the company.

"I know there was a whole big team of people that actually pulled this off," he said. "If he’s done this for us here in Indiana before he’s even been elected, my gosh I can’t wait until he gets in office to see what he’ll do for the country."

He said he's looking forward to a good Christmas and being able to retire with dignity.

Dawn Kinnard, a 21-year employee, works there with her husband and father. She said it was a very positive feeling to see the President-elect walk in.

We asked if she thinks they will keep good on their promises.

"If they don’t, it’ll look really bad on them, so that’s on them to keep it up," she said.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett issued the following statement:

“Today’s announcement is welcome news for hundreds of hardworking Indianapolis families and I am thankful that it appears many dedicated Carrier employees will continue to have good-paying jobs in this city.

As Mayor, I’m mindful of who wasn’t in the room today – hundreds more Indianapolis workers whose jobs are leaving or have already left our city. We owe it to those families to come together as a state and a country to enact much-needed reform that will prevent future offshoring of Indianapolis jobs and invest in our local workforce.

Working families in Indianapolis need our help more than ever, and I will continue to fight for them each and every day.”

Leader for Indiana's Republican Party were quick to trumpet the deal:

“Today, President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence have given the American people just a small example of their exemplary leadership. This is good news for not only our state, but for our country. The Trump Administration is dedicated to protecting and fighting for American workers, and this announcement to keep over 1,000 jobs in Indiana is just the beginning of making America prosperous and great again."

John Zody, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, said in statement that he was pleased that workers would keep their jobs but lamented that other positions would be headed outside the U.S.:

“Today’s announcement is great news for the Hoosier families and workers who will get to keep their jobs - though we are disappointed the company will still ship a good portion of jobs abroad. We hope that moving forward, all workers will have a seat at the table and that a Trump-Pence Administration will follow the lead of common–sense Hoosiers like Joe Donnelly and Andre Carson, who have been working to hold Carrier accountable since the moment their announcement was made to ship jobs to Mexico.

We also hope the state will act in a transparent fashion with respect to awarding taxpayer–funded incentives that, as Mayor Joe Hogsett is doing, will be clawed back when a company decides to cut Hoosier jobs.”

 

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