Trump embarks on Midwest jobs, election victory lap
Donald Trump embarks on a victory lap of Indiana and Ohio Thursday to celebrate his election victory and apparent success in brokering an agreement to keep 1,000 jobs in the Rust Belt.
The maverick tycoon, who upended the US establishment and the world by defeating Hillary Clinton on November 8, made guaranteeing jobs for blue collar American workers a key plank of his presidential campaign.
Casting aside job interviews for senior cabinet positions yet to be filled, the president-elect will visit an air conditioning plant in Indiana which he repeatedly leaned on in public not to ship a planned 2,000 jobs to Mexico.
Carrier announced Wednesday that it had agreed to preserve more than 1,000 jobs and would continue to manufacture gas furnaces in Indianapolis, as well as retain engineering and headquarters staff in the Midwestern city.
Trump will be accompanied by his vice president-elect Mike Pence, who is winding down his official duties as governor of Indiana ahead of the January 20 inauguration, and who also helped to broker the deal.
The announcement was “possible because the incoming Trump-Pence administration has emphasized to us its commitment to support the business community and create an improved, more competitive US business climate,” it said.
“The incentives offered by the state were an important consideration,” it added.
Anthony Scaramucci, an entrepreneur and member of the Trump transition team’s executive committee, told reporters Wednesday that he hoped more companies would follow suit.
“The whole purpose” of the incoming administration’s business platform would be to slash corporate tax rates to make it more competitive for American companies to allocate their capital at home.
“I’m hoping that every CEO in America is getting that beacon signal from the new Trump administration that we’re open for business here in the United States, and we’ve got to get American people back working in American jobs.”
Republican Indiana Senator Dan Coats, who met Trump in New York on Wednesday, said he hoped the Carrier announcement symbolized more to come and that he believed other companies would pay attention.
“Obviously the private sector has issues relative to staying competitive in the world,” he said.
“What it will do is open the door to more thought and perhaps more creative ways of addressing questions like this.”
From Indiana, Trump and Pence are to travel to Ohio to lead a post-election rally in Cincinnati. Trump was the first Republican nominee for president to win the state since 2004.
The evening event at the home of the Cincinnati Cyclones, which can host a crowd of more than 17,000, is expected to be similar to those that drew enthusiastic crowds of thousands during the campaign.
The transition team has dubbed it a “thank you tour.”
While such rallies are untraditional for a US president-elect, Trump often spoke of the thrill of addressing such enormous crowds during the campaign.