From 2011 to 2013, the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana gave Carrier and an affiliated company $1.7 million in grants and tax incentives, as an inducement to keep two manufacturing plants in the state and bring additional work in. It turned out not to be enough.
Earlier this year, Carrier said it would move those factories to Mexico, eliminating 2,000 jobs and saving $65 million. Indiana and its governor, Mike Pence, demanded most of the tax break money back, and got it.
Then Donald Trump got elected president. Trump had bashed Carrier while campaigning, saying that if he were president, companies wouldn’t get away with such a move. And now, Trump has persuaded Carrier to keep at least half of the 2,000 jobs it planned to outsource in Indiana, a remarkable instance of federal arm-twisting aimed at a single corporation. “Companies are not going to leave the U.S. anymore without consequences,” Trump said while touring the Carrier factory in Indiana.
To reach the deal, Indiana reportedly offered the heating and air conditioning company $7 million in new tax incentives, more than 4 times the previous inducement. So in that regard, Trump may have helped Carrier get a better deal. And there’s no federal commitment—the money will supposedly come from Indiana, courtesy of Hoosier taxpayers.
There’s also the possibility that Trump’s negotiators privately threatened to scale back on contracts awarded to Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies (UTX), a big defense contractor with more than $5 billion in annual…