President-elect Donald Trump, after threatening consequences for companies that move jobs overseas, turned to another Indiana company planning a move to Mexico, drawing a rebuke from former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday.
“Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!” Trump said in a Friday night Twitter post.
Rexnord has about 7,000 employees around the world and had announced it was moving 350 jobs out of Indiana to Mexico.Trump, who campaigned on promises to keep manufacturing jobs from fleeing the country, claimed credit for a deal in which Indiana state officials agreed to give United Technologies Corp $7 million worth of tax breaks to encourage the company to keep around 1,000 jobs at its Carrier unit in Indianapolis instead of hiring in Mexico.
The agreement was less than a complete victory for Trump, as the air conditioner maker will still send an estimated 1,300 jobs there.
Critics, including some Republicans, said making such agreements with individual companies amounted to corporate welfare and was not an effective way of keeping or generating U.S. jobs.
Sanders, who criticized U.S. trade policy in his race against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Trump’s deal with Carrier set a “very dangerous precedent” of having taxpayers subsidize multibillion dollar corporations to “beg them” to keep jobs in the country.
Sanders supports tougher policies on corporations for outsourcing.
During the presidential campaign, Trump said his administration would put a 35 percent import tariff on goods made by American manufacturers that moved jobs offshore. He frequently pilloried Carrier for planning to move production to Mexico as he appealed to blue-collar voters in the Midwest, including in Indiana, whose governor, Mike Pence, is the vice president-elect.
On Saturday, he challenged Trump over his Rexnord tweet.
“What are you going to do, @realDonaldTrump? Stand up for working people or give the company a massive tax break?” Sanders tweeted in response to Trump’s post.
And there other issues as well – will Trump be able to negotiate with a company that unlike Carrier, doesn’t have $5 BILLION in contracts with the federal government? It’ll be really interesting to see the details of the Carrier deal laid out, and what happens with Rexnord.