Some in the local business community were encouraged by the news that Donald Trump and Mike Pence — the president- and vice president-elect — have persuaded Carrier Corp. to keep in Indiana about half the jobs the company had planned to move to Mexico.
Other business experts questioned what kind of deal was offered the Indiana company and what to make of a president-elect getting directly involved in business plans.
Details are expected today when Trump and Pence visit Carrier in Indianapolis. Trump also plans a stop in Cincinnati.
Jim Clark, president of the Moraine-based IUE-CWA union, said the incoming administration’s involvement was “refreshing.”
“Obviously, keeping jobs that were going to be gone from the country is great,” Clark said.
About 1,000 jobs will stay in Indianapolis, the air-conditioning and heating equipment manufacturer tweeted late Tuesday.
“We are pleased to have reached a deal with President-elect Trump & VP-elect Pence to keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indy. More details soon,” Carrier said on its Twitter account.
Terms of any agreement weren’t clear Wednesday, although CNBC said some Indiana incentives were expected.
Clark said he welcomed this kind of help from any politician.
“I think the high-level politicians in our Congress and the White House have been part of our problem,” Clark said. “They construct trade agreements, they pass trade agreements and without the trade agreements, we wouldn’t have this problem we have with the loss of jobs.
Greg McAfee, owner of Kettering-based McAfee Heating & Air, is a Trump supporter, but he also acknowledged that as an entrepreneur, he had a vested interest in Carrier’s decision.
McAfee said his business “private labels” air conditioners made by made by United Technologies, which owns Carrier.
“Once we found out that our product was going to be made in Mexico, we let our supplier know that if this happens we will no longer be carrying this product,” McAfee said.
He said that if the incoming administration plans to “reduce tax burdens on businesses and makes it easier to do business in America,” then that’s a good thing in his view.
A spokeswoman for the Dayton Development Coalition said coalition staff probably wouldn’t offer a public reaction. Spokespeople for the Ohio Manufacturing Association and JobsOhio declined to comment.
Richard Stock, head of the University of Dayton’s Business Research Group, said Carrier’s original rationale for the move to Mexico was a “huge wage differential” between workers in the U.S. and Mexico.
Stock put that difference as $6 an hour in wages and benefits vs. $20.
“Multiply that differential on an 1800 hours-a-year basis times 2000 workers gets you $50 million a year savings,” Stock said. “The question becomes — what carrot or stick is Trump employing that is worth $50 million a year to Carrier?”
TRUMP IN CINCINNATI TODAY
President-elect Donald Trump will have a “thank you” rally tonight at US Bank Arena in downtown Cincinnati at 7.
How to listen: We are planning to air the speech live on AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO.
Watch live: You can stream live video from the event at DaytonDailyNews.com
How to go: You can get up to two tickets at DonaldTrump.com