While paying a visit to a Carrier plant in Indiana today, President-Elect Donald Trump touted his deal with the company that will keep about 1,000 jobs in the state while also saying that he completely forgot he promised to do so until watching the news last week.
Trump said that he saw a story about Carrier on the news last week, although he did not mention which program it was on “because I don’t like them much.” A Carrier employee was interviewed who was extremely confident that the company wouldn’t leave because Donald Trump promised they wouldn’t.
“I never thought I made that promise,” Trump said today. “…And he was such a believer. He was such a great guy.”
Trump went on to say that when he promised Carrier wouldn’t be leaving, he wasn’t being literal, and he just meant that companies like Carrier wouldn’t be leaving the Untied States in the future, adding that “that was a euphemism.”
“I did make it but I didn’t mean it quite that way,” Trump said of his promise.
But because he felt bad seeing that man on the news believe the incoming president would keep Carrier from leaving, Trump says he called up the company the next day. If it wasn’t for this news segment, Trump admitted, this deal probably would not have happened. The man interviewed on the news was referring to Trump saying during the campaign that if he’s elected president, Carrier wouldn’t be outsourcing Indiana jobs to Mexico as they announced. In fact, he gave Carrier employees a 100 percent guarantee on this.
“Here’s what’s going to happen,” Trump said during an Indiana rally in May. “They’re going to call me and they are going to say ‘Mr. President, Carrier has decided to stay in Indiana.’ One hundred percent, that’s what is going to happen. It’s not like we have an 80 percent chance of keeping them or a 95 percent. 100 percent.”
Trump seemed to admit on Thursday that this kind of language was deliberately exaggerated during the campaign and that he can’t actually prevent every company from leaving the United States, with the implication also being that this promise was not at all on his mind after winning the election. Still, Donald Trump was able to make a deal with Carrier this week in which they will keep jobs in Indiana in exchange for tax breaks. However, Carrier is still sending about 700 jobs to Mexico.
Trump also said today that companies won’t be able to outsource jobs without consequences, although Carrier is still moving jobs to Mexico in this deal without any consequences. Finally, the president-elect said that he will treat companies well if they stay in the United States.
“Your taxes are going to be at the very very low end and your unnecessary regulations will be gone,” Trump said.