Mexican official on Carrier deal: ‘Trump is telling the truth’ about saving US jobs

A Mexican official from the city that just lost out on 1,000 jobs it expected to take from an Indiana Carrier plant says that Donald Trumpis “telling the truth” when he rails against U.S. job losses.

Jaime Garcia Astorga, secretary of economic development of Santa Catarina in the state of Nuevo Leon, told CNBC on Friday that “nobody” believed the president-elect was serious when he “made a lot of declarations” to voters about keeping U.S. jobs in the United States.

Since Carrier agreed Thursday not to ship out some of those jobs, however, “this is a learning experience lesson for our city. This is a learning lesson for our state,” said Garcia.

Jaime Garcia Astorga

Katie Slaman | CNBC
Jaime Garcia Astorga

“Mr. President Trump is telling the truth. I don’t know if it is correct or not correct, but he is telling the truth,” Garcia said. “And he is making the thing that he has promised.”

Trump flew out for an on-camera trip to a Carrier plant in Indianapolis on Thursday, where he touted a deal with Carrier parent United Technologies to keep open a plant there rather than move those operations to Mexico.

“Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences,” Trump said Thursday. “Not gonna happen.”

United Technologies may not be suffering any real consequences, however.

A Carrier facility in Monterrey, Mexico.

Katie Slaman | CNBC
A Carrier facility in Monterrey, Mexico.

The company is still going to move 700 other jobs from Indiana to Mexico. And the company confirmed on Thursday that it got a multiyear, $7 million package from the state of Indiana in exchange for keeping 1,000 jobs there.

Since 2000, the United States has hemorrhaged around 5 million manufacturing jobs, according to NBC News. The Carrier workers in Mexico will make $3 an hour, compared with the $20 an hour paid to their U.S. counterparts, according to Reuters.

Garcia, whose city of around 260,000 people is in the Monterrey metro area, told CNBC his city “respects the internal process” in the United States, but that the government there would learn from the Carrier developments and be “prepared” for future Trump actions.

—CNBC’s Katie Slaman contributed to this report.

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