We won’t know if the jobs saved by Trump’s actions will be a good thing or not for a number of years.
Carrier is owned by United Technologies, which is a multinational conglomerate. Carrier represents about a 10th of their revenues. Carrier competes on a global scale with companies like Hitachi, Daikan and LG.
The US plants will only thrive if they can compete on the international market and somehow compete with the lower labor costs nearly everywhere on the planet.
Perhaps they can be sustained by supplying only the US market, but even that might require protectionist legislation.
If the US plants operate at a lower profit level than either foreign plants or other industries that United Technologies owns, they will have to direct resources in those directions.
The other thing is rapidly advancing automation means investment in “low skill” jobs and the machinery involved might end up being wasted. Every advance in air conditioner technology will bring increased levels of automation. Since Air Conditioning is one of the major consumers of electricity, one can expect major advances to happen quite regularly.
If American industry is forced to invest in obsolete technology geared towards providing jobs that require little education, we will not only become less competitive on world markets, but we won’t be providing the jobs that will be needed in the future.
I’m not sure people who denigrate this whole episode as a “publicity stunt” are on the right track: but the facts that the Indiana Governor was involved and handy, and that United Technology has a number of defense contracts with the US government that wouldn’t even need to be mentioned to be used as leverage can’t be ignored.
It’s hardly a part of any sort of sustainable policy. The more “protectionist” we become and the more we hold on to the technology of the past: we will be less competitive as a country. We can’t “Make America Great Again” by turning back the clock.