A manufacturing giant that struck a deal with President Trump to keep hundreds of jobs in the United States was recently awarded a $2.5 billion Department of Defense contract with no competition, according to a new report.
The Washington Post reports an aeronautics subsidiary of United Technologies recently received the contract to provide the Defense Department with various equipment, including propeller systems, flight sensors and landing gear. The contract was reportedly awarded without competition.
The Defense Department considers United Technologies the only qualified supplier for the parts, according to the Post, and the new contract essentially renews a previous contract that was to expire in April.
In December 2016, United Technologies announced it had reached a deal with then-President-elect Trump to keep about 1,000 jobs at a Carrier manufacturing plant in Indiana that were slated to move to Mexico. The company also pledged to invest $16 million in the plant.
The company received millions of dollars in tax breaks over 10 years to keep the jobs in the US.
A spokesperson for United Technologies told the Post in a statement that the Defense Department contract had nothing to do with the Carrier deal.
Trump celebrated the deal at the time, saying “there’s no reason for [companies] to leave any.”
Greg Hayes, CEO of United Technologies, said at the time they were convinced to stay in Indiana after discussions with Trump and Vice President Pence, who was Indiana’s governor until he was sworn in as vice president, about their plans “to improve the competitiveness of the U.S. business environment through tax reform and through a thoughtful approach to regulation.”
But days after the deal was reached, Hayes said in an interview that part of the company’s $16 million investment in the facility would go towards investments in automation.
Last July, the plant laid off 300 workers at the Indianapolis facility, and in November the company announced it would lay off than 200 additional employees at the plant.
Robert James, the president of the union that represents plant workers, said in November that employees “just don’t have any faith in this plant staying in Indianapolis.”