Mexico disappointed at Carrier agreement to keep jobs in US

December 2, 2016

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Officials in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon expressed disappointment Wednesday at Carrier Corp.’s announcement it will keep hundreds of jobs in the United States rather than send them south of the border.

Carrier said it had made a deal with President-elect Donald Trump to keep the jobs at its plant in Indiana.

Carrier currently operates one plant in Nuevo Leon and has built but not yet occupied another one there as part of a planned $200 million expansion.

“The implications are very serious, not only for Nuevo Leon, but for Carrier,” Sen. Marcela Guerra said.

“The one who is going to suffer from this is the company … because their products are going to be more expensive,” she added.

Still, Guerra said she could understand Trump’s fight to save U.S. jobs. “I understand the fight, because it is the same fight all we politicians carry out.”

At a news conference, the mayor of Santa Catarina, the Monterrey suburb where the Carrier plant is, said he had not heard from the company.

“We haven’t received any formal notification from the company. In fact, we are working normally with them,” Mayor Hector Castillo said, adding that Carrier has already constructed the shell of the new factory building.

Monterrey, Santa Catarina and much of Nuevo Leon was gripped four years ago by a wave of drug cartel violence and killings. But the situation has calmed, in part because of greater law enforcement efforts but also because of increased job availabilities at new businesses, such as a new Kia Motors auto plant, that have opened nearby.

“By offering people working conditions that allow them to look after their families’ welfare, they have been kept to some extent busy and on the road to progress” and away from illicit activities, said Jaime Garcia, director for economic development of Santa Catarina.

Like any city, Santa Catarina “would be grateful” for Carrier’s jobs, Garcia said.

He declined to comment on Trump’s effort, saying: “We are respectful but we keep our distance from the president-elect’s policies.”

Officials in the union for Carrier’s Mexican workers could not be reached for comment. Calls to the union’s offices went unanswered.