Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Contracts aren't exactly airtight, newspaper points out.

First the bad news came for workers in Indiana: Carrier, a unit of United Technologies, would be closing its Indianapolis facility – thereby eliminating all of the middle-income jobs there – and reopening shop in Mexico.

Then there was a protest by Indiana's elected officials, to which Carrier said, no dice: this business decision has been made and those jobs are gone.

Then the Mike Pence administration got back some money it had allocated to Carrier for investing in the Hoosier State.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump – who won the state’s Republican primary – started talking about the Carrier situation a lot, though many of the workers there don’t seem to think very much of him.

Through it all, though? Looks like Indiana has given out a lot of business development incentives (cash) to companies that are planning to offshore jobs, or have already done so. A whole $24 million has been approved, in fact, according to the Indianapolis Star. And all of it was under the auspices of Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, who as the governor is in charge of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC).

The Star explains it thusly:

The job creation and retention requirements in the state’s incentive agreements are usually narrowly tailored to a single facility, leaving workers at other sites owned by the same company vulnerable to offshoring.

So while job creation is often part of the incentive deals the IEDC cuts with companies doing business in Indiana, those deals haven’t had any bearing on other jobs in these companies that are headed out the back door.

The Star did its homework, and found that the 10 companies targeted for that $24 million in IEDC money were on the hook to create 1,087 jobs, but had laid off or planned to layoff 3,820 Indiana workers.

And according to observers in Indiana, this raises some big questions about whether Trump and his running mate are on the same page, particularly on trade:

“To the extent that there is any daylight between them, one has to wonder what Mike Pence’s true thoughts are,” said Robert Dion, a political scientist at the University of Evansville. “In the event they disagree, you have to wonder, has Mike Pence changed his position or is he simply doing what a VP nominee must do to be part of a national ticket? That’s the million dollar question.”