President-elect Donald Trump has already begun making good on one of his central campaign promises after negotiating with an American company to keep 1,000 jobs stateside instead of moving them to Mexico.
Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence convinced Carrier, a Connecticut-based manufacturer of air conditioning and heating devices, not to fire the Indiana-based employees, who are a part of a steel workers union, the Indianapolis Star reported.
The deal hinges on tax breaks and conditions for the company that involve reinvesting in its American facilities. Indiana officials agreed to give Carrier a tax break package that would spread savings over a decade, the Wall Street Journal reported, while parent company United Technologies will agree to spend $16 million improving its own facilities within the estate.
“The state of Indiana has offered Carrier a $7 million package over multiple years, contingent upon factors including employment, job retention and capital investment," the company confirmed in a statement issued Dec. 1.
Democrats wasted no time criticizing the deal. Among them was Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who criticized the president-elect for offering a tax deal instead of threatening to levy steep tariffs if the company moved its jobs to Mexico.
The difference, Sanders argued, is that Trump is rewarding a business for threatening to move facilities overseas.
“Trump has endangered the jobs of workers who were previously safe in the United States,” Sanders wrote in a Washington Post editorial. “Why? Because he has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives.”
That criticism was echoed by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, which views the tax cuts as "corporate welfare," according to The Hill.
Likewise, Texas-based investor Chart Westcott told the newspaper that rewarding threats with tax cuts creates "a huge moral hazard" which is "not necessarily a good thing for the U.S. taxpayer, even if it is great for the workers at Carrier."
Others were more positive about the outcome. Republican strategist Alice Stewart told The Hill that "it's extremely smart" of the incoming Trump administration to begin saving jobs, proving that the businessman can negotiate the deals he's promised.
The most important thing is that the jobs stay within the U.S., House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, told The Hill.
“What I know is jobs that were slated to leave are here, are staying," Jordan said. "I think that’s positive, that’s good, that’s great."