Trump-Pence Brokered Carrier Deal Provides Calm in Connecticut

The United Technologies (UTC) owned air conditioner-maker Carrier will keep up to 1,000 jobs in Indiana could have a lasting impact more than 800 miles away in Connecticut.

President-elect Donald Trump had said via Twitter on Thanksgiving that he was working with Carrier and UTC to keep the company’s plant that was slated to be moved to Mexico in Indiana. The move had been announced back in February of this year.

The fear in corporate circles was that the incoming Trump administration could leverage its position of purchasing power against UTC when it came to Carrier and UTC’s jet engine producing subsidiary, Pratt and Whitney.

UTC netted nearly $6 billion in profits in 2015, with much of that attributable to the production of engines by Pratt and Whitney for the US Military. There was concern that Trump would hold orders over UTC’s head in order to protect jobs in a different division where it made political sense.

Pratt and Whitney is considered a pillar of the aerospace industry, but perhaps more importantly, it’s part of the bedrock of Connecticut’s fragile economy.

Overall, UTC employs more than 14,000 people in Connecticut, and Pratt alone ad announced plans earlier in the Fall to add and about 8,000 new jobs in the state over the next decade. There is already a multi-year backlog on orders for the US and other international clients.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said of the notion, “The idea that you’re going to stop buying jet engines from Pratt and Whitney in order to punish Carrier for moving jobs, it’s just ridiculous.”

Carrier confirmed in a tweet that it had struck a deal, and CNBC reported that it was struck mainly with the help of Indiana Governor and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence. CNBC also reported that Trump would travel to Indianapolis on Thursday.

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