He hasn’t taken office yet, but Donald Trump knows how to make news. 

Throughout his unconventional campaign, New York City billionaire-turned-politician lambasted Carrier Corp. for its decision to move some HVAC production to Mexico from Indiana. He boasted that if he was elected president, such actions would stop.

Less than a month after winning his upset presidential election victory, Trump was tweeting that he had reached a deal with Carrier to save 1,000 jobs at an Indianapolis factory. Carrier confirmed the agreement within a few hours. Details were slow to come out, but it appeared generous tax incentives and political pressure on Carrier’s parent company, which has several multibillion-dollar government contracts, played a part.

As more information has emerged, it looks like the total number of jobs saved may not be as high as first stated, and economists note that duplicating such agreements on a large scale is nearly impossible. However, for the workers whose jobs are safe at the Indianapolis factory, I doubt that matters.

Critics of the deal — whether Democrat, Republican or independent — have found it hard to diminish the public relations victory Trump scored almost two months before he takes office. A December 2016 poll commissioned by the Washington insider website Politico.com said 60 percent of voters improved their opinions of the president-elect after the deal was announced.  

Whether you voted for him or not, and whether you approve of the way the agreement was reached, I think you have to respect the way Trump can generate that kind of coverage. As he takes office later this month, we’ll see if it continues.

What do you think?


A political view from abroad

Donald Trump’s victory probably stunned people outside the U.S., who looked at it as a “reality show” that was not really going to happen and now wonder how it will effect trade, etc. My feeling was he would win. He told the people what they wanted to hear and have been waiting to hear for many years.

I cannot see things changing too much, as the world is probably more complex and intertwined than Donald thinks or thought. Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Germany, etc., are good friends and allies that he cannot upset too much. A trade war with China would not do anyone much good.

But on the subject of air conditioning and Donald’s deal with Carrier: Seems ironic looking from the outside that we read Japan’s Daikin is investing in new, larger facilities in the U.S. and Carrier is leaving the U.S.

The Australian government held up the car industry in Australia for many years with very large subsidies until recently. Ford, Honda and General Motors have now closed their plants and shifted to Asia. Wonder what promises Donald has made to Carrier, and will the U.S. public ever know?  He may have set a precedent for other companies investing in the U.S.

Peter Chettleburgh


Davies Heat N’ Cool

Dunedin, New Zealand