Indianapolis News and Headlines


Fact-checking Donald Trump's Carrier claims

Posted at 10:55 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 22:55:43-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the campaign pledges that's brought Donald Trump some of the biggest applause over the past few days centered on the jobs Carrier is moving out of Indianapolis.

Trump told a crowd that when he's president, those jobs would stay in Indiana – or Carrier would pay a 35 percent tax on imports to the U.S.

"I will call the head of Carrier and I will say, I hope you enjoy your new building," Trump said. "I hope you enjoy Mexico. Here's the story, folks: Every single air conditioning unit that you build and send across our border – you're going to pay a 35 percent tax on that unit."

FULL COVERAGE | Moving to Mexico: What you need to know about Monterrey, MexicoMoving to Mexico: On the ground in Monterrey, Mexico, where Carrier is movingTrump weights in on Carrier relocation to Mexico | Carrier: Company did not receive $5M in federal stimulus funds | President of United Steelworkers Union: No hope of saving 1,400 jobs | Carrier employees, local businesses reel after announcement of move to Mexico |WATCH: Employees react to news that Carrier is moving from Indy to Mexico | Pence to review Carrier's plans to move to Mexico |TRUMP: Carrier should be taxed for their goods after move to Mexico | Hogsett, Donnelly meet with Carrier workers | City, state stepping in to help Carrier employees |Indiana leaders ask Carrier for a meeting to try to keep the plant, jobs in the state

It's a promise that isn't impossible to fulfill – just highly unlikely.

IU McKinney School of Law Professor James Nehf says a President Trump could potentially put a tariff on all air conditioners made in Mexico, but not just on one company.

"They're almost always imposed on classes of goods," Nehf said. "You could impose tariffs on wine coming from the European Union, but you wouldn’t just impose a tariff on a specific wine producer."

Plus, Nehf points out, Trump would have to throw out a slew of treaties and trade deals to do it.

"Any tariffs imposed by our nation on imported goods from other countries with the rules of those treaties – if it's a tariff on Canadian or Mexican goods – it will have to comply with NAFTA as well as the World Trade Organization," Nehf said.


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