- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 1, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump urged his supporters Thursday to be the “agents of change” and to keep the pressure on elected leaders in Washington to make sure they deliver on the promises that he laid out in his victory over Hillary Clinton in the presidential race.

Mr. Trump said he plans to unify the nation after the divisive election and asked the thousands who turned out to see him to “dream big again” as he moves to usher in an era of prosperity at home and peace abroad.

“Every single day, you will be the agents of change, change for our country, but good change, great change,” Mr. Trump said at a postelection rally in Ohio. “Americans must ignore the pessimism and embrace the optimism that has always been the central ingredient of the American character.

“Americans will be the captains of their own destiny once again,” he said, adding, in classic Trump fashion, that the people have powered his movement. “I am just really the messenger — although I have been a very good messenger — let’s face it, right? I have been a pretty good messenger.”

Fresh off wheedling Carrier to keep 1,100 jobs in the U.S., Mr. Trump also visited Indiana, his first public appearance since the election, and said other companies that threaten to ship their jobs outside the country will face consequences.

Mr. Trump’s deal with Carrier, an air conditioning manufacturer that earlier this year announced it was axing some 1,400 jobs in Indiana, marked an early success for the novice politician, whose victory last month confounded analysts and gave hope to blue-collar workers who say the economy has abandoned them.

Mr. Trump visited the Carrier plant in Indiana and held a rally with workers, rehashing his campaign themes of border security, tax cuts and rebuilding American manufacturing.

He again hinted at forcing a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in an effort to keep jobs from slipping into Mexico and said corporations that do consider fleeing should expect a phone call from him.

“Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. It’s not going to happen,” the president-elect vowed.

Details of the deal Mr. Trump reached with Carrier haven’t been released, but the company’s parent corporation said it will mean some 1,100 jobs will remain in place.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, vowed to scrutinize the deal from Congress. He said promises of special tax breaks could be a problem.

“Were there any federal tax policies discussed? Were there promises about defense contracts? I want to know about the cost relevant to the jobs. I mean, he has not even had a press conference now,” Mr. Wyden told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Trump is in the middle of filling positions in his Cabinet, and he has put forward nominees to lead the Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Education departments.

At his campaign stop in Ohio, the New York billionaire announced that he would be tapping retired U.S. Marine Gen. James N. Mattis as defense secretary and said the good news about Carrier is “just the beginning” of the positive economic news to come on his watch.

“Now is not the time to downsize our dreams, but to set our sights higher than ever before for our country,” Mr. Trump said. “Now is the time to push for real profound change that restores the full promise of America for all of its people.

“It is time to remove the rust from the Rust Belt and usher in a new industrial revolution,” he said.

Carrier inked the deal long ago and told employees in February that they would be losing their jobs to a plant in Monterrey, Mexico.

In the weeks after the election, though, Carrier employees said they were counting on Mr. Trump to make good on a promise to stop that shift.

Mr. Trump on Thursday said he forgot about the promise, and when he saw it replayed on a television network he realized he meant it as a “euphemism” for all the jobs fleeing the country, not for Carrier specifically. But he said he reached out to company leaders and they were able to strike an agreement.

Democrats were left conflicted by Mr. Trump’s success nearly two months before he takes office.

The Indiana Democratic Party called the announcement “great news.”

But Sen. Bernard Sanders, the Vermont independent who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination this year, said Carrier bamboozled Mr. Trump by extracting major concessions while pledging to keep in place only some of the jobs.

Mr. Sanders said Mr. Trump promised to punish companies with punitive taxes but appears to have lured Carrier back with tax cuts.

“In essence, United Technologies took Trump hostage and won. And that should send a shock wave of fear through all workers across the country,” Mr. Sanders said.

If Mr. Sanders seemed like he hadn’t left the campaign trail, neither did Mr. Trump.

In speeches that were strikingly similar to his campaign rallies, the president-elect covered many of his favorite topics, including securing the border and cutting tax rates, as well as reducing federal regulations and stopping refugee settlements from countries that are terrorist hotbeds.

He also once again lashed out at reporters, whom he tussled with during the campaign and with whom he has yet to make peace. “I don’t like ‘em much, I’ll be honest,” he said in Indiana.

Stephen Dinan contributed to this report.

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