Why government contracts mean so much to Carrier’s parent company

(WISH Photo)
(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It is still not clear what may have prompted Carrier to reverse course and keep roughly 1,000 Indianapolis jobs from moving to Monterrey, Mexico.

What is clear: Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies, has a lot to lose if any of its Pentagon contracts were threatened by the incoming administration.

During the presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump (and before him Sen. Bernie Sanders) campaigned on the issue of keeping the jobs in Indiana and punishing companies like United Technologies if they moved jobs out of the country.

According to some number crunching by I-Team 8, United Technologies or its subsidiaries have secured more than $16.5 billion in defense contracts since 9/11.

I-Team 8’s figures were gathered by examining a federal database.

Federal financial records also show that United Technologies currently has more than $9.5 billion in government contracts that are listed as “in progress.”

Losing those could a put a dent in the company’s bottom line.

Trump won the election and appears to have made good on that promise of keeping the jobs here. He most recently tweeted about the issue on Thanksgiving saying that he was in talks with Carrier to keep the jobs in Indianapolis. Carrier confirmed the news that it had secured a deal on Tuesday night.

A source familiar with the matter says Trump plans to visit Indianapolis on Thursday, the same day he is scheduled to make an appearance in Cincinnati.

Questions still loom, however, about the details of the deal.

In a statement released Wednesday night, Carrier said that the state incentives “were an important consideration.” A figure of $700,000 was first reported by POLITICO and Fortune magazine, but has not been independently verified by I-Team 8.

To what extent did the state tax incentives and the lucrative government contracts play a role in securing those 1,000 Carrier jobs? Sen. Joe Donnelly, D – Indiana,

“I think it played a significant role. I’ve been pushing hard in legislation to the senate finance committee to stop the offshoring of jobs as Carrier was doing should be considered when federal contracts are given,” Donnelly said.

Gov. Pence – now vice-president-elect Pence – said earlier this year that Carrier had agreed to give back more than $380,000 in incentives when it initially announced it was moving jobs to Mexico.

Separately, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett had said that the Carrier Task Force had secured $1.2 million in funds from Carrier that would go toward work-training scholarships.

So what will happen to that money?

A call and email placed to Hogsett’s spokeswoman was returned Wednesday afternoon. The spokeswoman said the funds will be “set aside to help the displaced workers with job-training and economic recovery initiatives.”