The public is being kept in the dark about Trump’s deal with Carrier

By Danielle Paquette

President-elect Donald Trump talks with workers during a visit to the Carrier factory, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, in Indianapolis, Ind. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President-elect Donald Trump talks with workers during a visit to the Carrier factory in Indianapolis. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

A month after President-elect Donald Trump announced a deal with air conditioning company Carrier to save hundreds of U.S. factory jobs that were slated for Mexico, officials say the agreement has yet to be finalized, and they have released few details about its terms.

The state of Indiana, where the affected jobs are located, agreed to give Carrier up to $7 million in tax credits over 10 years to keep the facility open. Trump and Mike Pence — Indiana’s Republican governor and the vice president-elect — have touted the deal as a victory for their incoming administration and an example of how they’ll jump-start the economy.

However, specifics have been elusive. Trump and the leader of the union that represents the Carrier workers have clashed over the number of jobs saved. It is also unclear whether the company received any federal concessions.

In response to an open-records request from The Washington Post, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, a state agency chaired by Pence, said Indiana law allows it to withhold information until a contract is finalized. They’ve taken this route “to enable effective negotiations on behalf of Hoosiers,” wrote Chris Cotterill, the IEDC’s general counsel, saying it will take up to three months to finish terms of the pact.

Cotterill said the state will eventually publish the terms, but they would not give The Post any record of Trump’s involvement in the deal.

Jonathan Bruno, a legal scholar at Harvard University, said the law does not stop the state from providing such records before a final deal, but it does give the option.

“It’s hard to defend the continued secrecy of the deal,” Bruno wrote in an email. “Pence et al. are trying to have it both ways — …read more