In February there were gasps of anger and disbelief. There was yelling. At least one person in the crowd of Carrier employees shouted things that cannot be written here. The employees had just been told the heating, cooling, air conditioning, and refrigeration company was relocating its Indianapolis plant to Monterrey, Mexico.
Candidate Donald Trump recalled the anxiety of the Indiana workers during the a presidential debate a few days later.
In essence, the Carrier HVAC example is a direct and visible representation of how the U.S. manufacturing industry, and the middle-class jobs they provide, has been ignored by the professional political class. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the company’s surprise announcement was without warning and incredibly disappointing.
Carrier responded to the publicity with the following statement:
“This move is intended to address the challenges we continue to face in a rapidly changing HVAC industry, with the continued migration of the HVAC industry to Mexico, including our suppliers and competitors, and ongoing cost and pricing pressures driven, in part, by new regulatory requirements.
Relocating our operations to a region where we have existing infrastructure and a strong supplier base will allow us to operate more cost effectively so that we can continue to produce high-quality HVAC products that are competitively positioned while continuing to meet customer needs.” (link)
Nine months later, on November 8th, millions of previously ignored Americans showed up to the voting booths and elected Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.
Today, President-Elect Donald Trump sends a message that he is trying to do exactly what he said he would do on the campaign trail: convince Carrier to reverse course and keep those jobs in the U.S.
It is not going to be easy to reverse decades of terrible economic policies that led to the erosion of U.S. manufacturing and production. However, for the first time in forty years the American worker has an actual Main Street champion in our corner, and headed to the White House.
This is the second time in as many weeks when President-Elect has directly notified the American people that he is already beginning the communication with industry leaders to stop the jobs losses.
There is reason to be hopeful.