Economists have been concerned about President-Elect Donald Trump involving himself in “saving” 1,000 jobs from the Carrier plant. But CNN’s “New Day” panel had other concerns.
“It’s a legal minefield but it’s also a political or philosophical one because what it involves is governments picking winners and losers,” CNN correspondent Richard Quest told Chris Cuomo. “Why go for Carrier and not its competition? Its competition turns around and says, ‘You’ve got this, what are we getting in return?'”
Political economist Greg Valliere agreed, citing Sarah Palin, “of all people,” who called the move “crony capitalism and intrusion by a government into private business decisions.”
Valliere assumed that there will ultimately be a lawsuit. “If I’m a shareholder and I see a company that could have made more in profits had they moved and they don’t move, I think there’s grounds for a suit,” he explained.
Quest remarked there’s a concerning example of a company making a decision based on shareholder value. Cuomo agreed, saying that Trump did the same thing himself. “He makes his clothes and other products abroad because it was cheaper,” Cuomo said.
That’s when Quest noted that the way these things generally work is that a state gets involved in saving a company that is located in the state. So, why didn’t Mike Pence get involved?
“You’re talking about a smaller air conditioning company in Indiana, which could have received state help if the governor had chosen to-” Quest said before being cut off by Cuomo saying Pence could have done something earlier to save Carrier. “Let me ask you one other question,” Quest continued. “Who is president of the United States at the moment? The old rule that you only have one president at a time, what is Donald Trump doing interfering in the Carrier decision or, indeed, in the Taiwan decision, until January 20th?”
Valliere’s fears were more ominous. “Every company in America is going to have to look over their shoulders worried that government will interfere in their business decisions,” he said. “This is a chilling precedent that has been set.”
Check out the full discussion below: