RAW VIDEO | Donald Trump and Mike Pence hold Indy news conference at Carrier
Trump took partial credit for the decision to keep the jobs in Indiana, threatening that companies shifting jobs out of the U.S. would face "consequences."
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence held a joint news conference at an air conditioner manufacturer in Indianapolis Thursday afternoon, to celebrate the announcement that 1,000 more jobs would be staying in Indiana, rather than moving to Mexico.
Trump took partial credit for the decision, promising that companies that plan on shifting resources outside the U.S. would face "consequences."
Amid cheers, Pence announced that Carrier would not only be keeping the 1,000 jobs in the U.S., but would also invest $16 million in the Indianapolis facility. He credited the decision to the leadership of Carrier, parent company United Technologies and "the initiative and leadership" of Trump.
"Today America won -- and we have Donald Trump to thank," Pence said, calling Thursday's announcement, "just the beginning."
When Trump took the podium, he recalled the process that he said led to his decision to intervene in Carrier's situation. He said he was watching network news one evening, when he saw a Carrier employee being interviewed about plans to relocate the jobs to Mexico. When the employee replied that they weren't going to move because Trump promised them they'd stay, Trump said he did a mental check and couldn't recall making such a promise.
Then, Trump said, the news station replayed a statement he made during the campaign, in which he said that Carrier would not leave. Trump said that when he made the statement, he didn't mean it literally, but as a euphemism for all U.S. companies. Nevertheless, Trump told the crowd he knew he had to do something.
"We can't allow this to happen anymore with our country," Trump said, adding that too many companies were leaving the U.S.
He said he would use a combination of lower business taxes and lower regulations to stop companies from shifting resources to other countries like Mexico. He also blasted NAFTA, which he called "a total and complete disaster," as well as a "one-way street into Mexico."
"Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences," Trump promised, arguing that companies that do so are "taking people's hearts out."
Amid cheers, Trump said that the employees at the Carrier plant are "going to have a great Christmas" and that the company would sell more air conditioners solely from the goodwill generated by the decision to remain in the U.S.
"We just visited 1,000 people in the factory who are going wild in the plant," Trump said, adding that he had seen people crying.
Trump and Ford
It's not the first time President-elect Trump has taken credit for a company's decision to keep jobs in the U.S. Last month, Trump took to Twitter to announce that Ford Motor Co. wouldn't be moving a "Lincoln plant" from Kentucky to Mexico -- and claimed credit for "work(ing) hard" to change the company's mind.
But Ford was not considering moving either of its Kentucky plants -- both in Louisville -- to Mexico.
Instead, company officials said Friday that Ford had merely decided to keep making the Lincoln MKC crossover SUV at Louisville Assembly Plant off Fern Valley Road after 2019.
In an email, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker confirmed that the decision not to move the MKC production to Mexico is "about (what happens) past 2019."
Ford's Baker said she didn't know when the decision was made or if Trump had any impact on it. It's possible the decision was made before the election, because Escape sales have been falling since July, so additional production capacity in Louisville may not be needed.
Thursday's press conference represented a homecoming of sorts for Pence, who left his position as Indiana Governor in order to campaign as Trump's running mate during the election process.
"It is great to be back home again in Indiana. And this is a great day for Indiana," Pence said.
Trump offered his thanks to the state.
"This was going to be the firewall," he said, speaking of the recent election. "This was where they said they were going to stop Trump. That didn't work out too well."
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