Bernie Sanders Is Taking Donald Trump To Task Over Carrier Deal To Keep 1,000 Jobs In The U.S.

"Even corporations that weren’t thinking of offshoring jobs will most probably be reevaluating their stance."

Earlier this week, air conditioning company Carrier Corp. announced that it struck a deal with president-elect Donald Trump to keep some 1000 manufacturing jobs here in the U.S., instead of moving its Indianapolis plant to Mexico as was planned. Speaking at a rally in Indiana on Tuesday, an exuberant Trump told the crowd, "Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. It's not gonna happen."

In return for the keeping its plant here, Trump negotiated for Carrier to receive at least $7 million in tax incentives over the next 10 years from Indiana, the state where vice president-elect Mike Pence is currently governor. However, another 1,000 employees at Carrier's Indiana plant will still be losing their jobs as the company previously announced. 

Trump and Pence hailed the deal as the first victory in the incoming administration's promise to keep manufacturing companies from moving jobs overseas to cut costs. "This is the way it's going to be," Trump told The New York Times. "Corporate America is going to have to understand that we have to take care of our workers also."

But not everyone agrees that it was a good deal. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders strongly criticized it in a Washington Post op-ed the same day Trump spoke in Indiana. 

Sanders recalled Trump's pledge to make United Technologies, Carrier's parent company, "pay a damn tax" if they moved jobs abroad and tried to sell overseas-made products in the U.S. "Instead of a damn tax, the company will be rewarded with a damn tax cut." he wrote. "How's that for standing up to corporate greed? How's that for punishing corporations that shut down in the United States and move abroad?"

The senator condemned Trump for essentially laying out a road map for other corporations to receive similar tax cuts from the government, paid for with taxpayers' money. He wrote:

[Trump] has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives. Even corporations that weren't thinking of offshoring jobs will most probably be reevaluating their stance this morning. And who would pay for the high cost for tax cuts that go to the richest businessmen in America? The working class of America.   

The Times also mentioned that critics of this deal are concerned that "cutting individual deals with different companies is a costly and ineffective way to stem the powerful forces that impel business to move factories and jobs in a highly competitive global and national economy," journalist Nelson D. Schwartz wrote

Fox News' The Five co-host Juan Williams echoed Sanders' criticism of the deal on the show. Williams called out his colleagues who praised the deal, reiterating his disdain with the large tax break that Carrier will get. 

In his op-ed, Sanders evoked his vow to work together with Trump on issues that empower the working and middle class, and lampooned the president-elect for doing "the exact opposite" now. 

"The problem with our rigged economy is not that our policies have been too tough on corporations; it's that we haven't been tough enough," he wrote. "If Donald Trump won't stand up for America's working class, we must."

Cover image via J Stone / Shutterstock.com

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