Republican President-elect Donald Trump said on Thursday he was spending part of his Thanksgiving holiday trying to convince an Indiana air conditioner maker to stay in the United States – reflecting his election campaign pledge to stop the flow of jobs abroad.
Trump, who is also weighing decisions on his Cabinet during a family retreat at his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida, said on Twitter that he was “working hard, even on Thanksgiving, trying to get Carrier A.C. Company to stay in the U.S. (Indiana). MAKING PROGRESS – Will know soon!”
Carrier Corp, a division of United Technologies Corp, responded on Twitter that the company has had “discussions with the incoming administration” but had “nothing to announce at this time.” A representative for the company had no additional comment.
Earlier this year, the company said it would move 1,400 jobs to Mexico from Indiana, giving a three-year timetable for the shift.
The state’s Republican Governor Mike Pence – later picked by Trump as his vice-presidential running mate – decried the decision, and spoke out against it often on the campaign trail.
Trump made Carrier’s decision part of his rallying cry against trade deals that he said were unfavorable to American workers and his campaign pledge to bring manufacturing jobs back to America. He said he would slap taxes on the company’s air conditioners shipped back into the United States.
Asked by Reuters last week whether the company was reconsidering its decision given Trump’s victory in the Nov. 8 election, the company said in a statement that it was “making every effort” to help its Indiana employees during the shift.
“By providing three years advance notice of the move and by funding education and retraining programs for up to four years after the move is complete, we are providing employees with both time and opportunity to help them to make a smooth transition,” the company said.
Carrier also cited an agreement it had reached with the United Steelworkers union about compensation for affected workers.
Trump also railed against Ford Motor Co during the campaign, and last week took a victory lap on Twitter after the company informed him it would not shift production of a Lincoln sport utility vehicle to Mexico from Kentucky.
“I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky,” Trump tweeted.
Ford had never considered moving the whole factory south of the border, but said it was encouraged by Trump’s business policies.
Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, announced two new picks on Wednesday for his Cabinet – South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and wealthy Republican donor and school choice advocate Betsy DeVos to lead the Education Department.
A spokesman for his transition team said there would be no announcements on Thursday.