NEW YORK, Dec 1 (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump visits a factory in Indiana on Thursday to kick off a “thank you tour” and celebrate his role in persuading air conditioner maker Carrier Corp to preserve around 1,000 jobs in the state rather than move them to Mexico.
Trump was then due to hold a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, and address supporters who helped him win that swing state in his stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
In an early victory for the Republican before he takes office, Carrier said this week it agreed to keep more than 1,000 jobs at its plant in Indianapolis and at its headquarters, while still planning to move more than 1,000 other U.S. jobs to Mexico.
Trump campaigned hard on keeping jobs in the United States and frequently targeted Carrier for planning to ship jobs overseas as he appealed to blue-collar workers in the Midwest.
Though the company is still outsourcing Indiana jobs to Mexico, the deal marks a quick win for Trump, who has spent most of his time since the Nov. 8 election in New York building his team ahead before the Jan. 20 handover of power from President Barack Obama.
Carrier confirmed that Indiana agreed to give the company $7 million in tax incentives. A source briefed on the matter said the tax incentives are over 10 years and the company has agreed to invest $16 million in the state, which is run by Governor Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president-elect.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller told reporters the Carrier deal is proof that “this administration is going to make good on our promises to keep jobs here in America.”
But Carrier, a unit of United Technologies Corp, still plans to move 600 jobs from the plant to Mexico, the Wall Street Journal said. Reuters reported earlier this week Carrier also still intends to close a factory in Huntington, Indiana, that employs 700 people making controls for heating, cooling and refrigeration and move the jobs to Mexico by 2018.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who lost the Democratic primary to Clinton, said the Carrier deal is incomplete and leaves the incoming Trump administration open to threats from companies.
“Trump has endangered the jobs of workers who were previously safe in the United States. Why? Because he has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives,” Sanders wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece on Thursday.
He noted that Trump had originally said he would save 2,100 jobs that Carrier planned to move to Mexico.
“Let’s be clear: It is not good enough to save some of these jobs,” Sanders said.
The Indiana and Ohio stops will be Trump’s first public events since he won the presidency.
At the Cincinnati event, Trump and Pence will talk about what is ahead and the “positive change” Trump will bring to the country, spokesman Miller said.
Trump’s Cincinnati rally looks like it will echoes the raucous events that characterized his election campaign, in which he railed against Washington insiders and Wall Street and vowed to “drain the swamp.”
But now Trump is turning to establishment figures to fill critical positions in his administration.
On Wednesday, Trump said he would nominate former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin, to lead the Treasury Department. Trump named Wilbur Ross, a billionaire known for his investments in distressed industries, as his nominee for commerce secretary.
The Trump team has also tapped a series of experienced Washington hands to oversee the transfer of power within government departments and agencies.
The real estate mogul and former television celebrity, who has never before held elected office, has named some members of his Cabinet but has many other jobs to fill.
The Cincinnati rally follows a car and knife attack this week by a Somali immigrant and Muslim student, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, at Ohio State University in Columbus that left 11 people injured, for which Islamic State claimed responsibility.
After the attack, Trump criticized Artan’s entry into the country. In a Twitter message, Trump said, “ISIS is taking credit for the terrible stabbing attack at Ohio State University by a Somali refugee who should not have been in our country.”
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, accused Trump of seeking to exploit the “tragic situation in Ohio.”
Additional reporting by Steve Holland and David Shepardson Writing by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Alistair Bell