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Carrier plans to use the money from deal with Trump to purchase robots that will replace workers

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at Carrier Corp Thursday in Indianapolis. (AP/Darron Cummings)

It was a seemingly victorious moment for President-elect Donald Trump when he was able to announce that before even taking office, he had reached a "deal" with the company Carrier to keep their Indiana plant instead of shipping it to Mexico.

Last week, Trump and Carrier both announced that they had reached an agreement that would keep thousands of jobs in the United States. But it appears the deal, which involved a $16 million investment in the Indiana facility itself, will also fund an automation overhaul for the facility.

CEO of Carrier's parent company United Technologies, Greg Hayes, confirmed to CNBC this week that it would ultimately mean fewer jobs available at the facility.

"We're going to...automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive," Hayes said.

"Is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we'll make the capital investments there. But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs."

In lieu of moving to Mexico, Carrier decided to stay in the United States and save 800 out of 1,400 jobs at the plant, in the short-term future. Carrier would not comment on how many of the 800 remaining jobs would be replaced by automation, or when that would happen.

 

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