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Early Test: Can Trump Make Good on his Pledge to Save Carrier Jobs?

November 28, 2016
Plain English Version


Donald Trump made a campaign promise. He promised that the Carrier Company would not move its factory to Mexico. About two thousand jobs are at stake.

Trump posted a Twitter last week. It said, “ I am working hard, even on Thanksgiving. I am trying to get Carrier A.C. Company to stay in the U.S. (Indiana). MAKING PROGRESS – Will know soon!”

Can he do it? If he does, it will send a message to American companies. Ronald Reagan became president in 1980. The air traffic controllers went on strike. He fired them. It proved that the union was not as strong as people thought.

If Trump keeps Carrier in the US, it will show that corporations are not as strong as people thought.

How can the president convince them to stay here? The managers at Carrier are nervous. Carrier has a parent company. It is United Technologies. That company has contracts with the US Department of Defense. They do not want to make an enemy of the new president. He has ways to make it more difficult for the company to win contracts.

Still, wages matter. The US workers make in an hour what Mexican workers make in a day.

There is an American way to solve the problem. It is compromise. Carrier will have to find a way to keep some of the jobs in the US. Trump also will have to do something. He could change business regulations to make some things easier for Carrier. He could promise to stop calling the company names.

Trump will try to make it a victory for himself. He will have made good on a campaign promise (at least enough to claim credit). But there is another question. What will the workers at Carrier say? It depends on how many jobs stay in Indiana. If it is just a few jobs, the workers will claim Trump failed them. If it is many jobs, Trump will be a hero.

American companies might want to think twice before moving jobs out of the country.

Source: The New York Times November 25, 2016

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