Trump warns of heavy tax "consequences" for US firms that head elsewhere

Rebecca Smith
Trump also wants Gen. James Mattis as his defence secretary
Trump also wants Gen. James Mattis as his defence secretary (Source: Getty)

He'd only just reneged on his pledge to pursue charges against Hillary Clinton over her email saga, but the President-elect isn't softening his stance elsewhere.

Donald Trump has warned companies of "consequences" should they look to leave the US, which doesn't sound ominous at all.

Speaking in Indiana to take credit for saving 1,000 jobs at air conditioning company Carrier Corp, which had been planning to move to Mexico, Trump said his negotiations with the firm would shape how he approaches discussions with other companies.

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"We are going to have a situation where they are going to know, number one, we're going to treat them well and number two, there will be consequences," he said. "They will be taxed very heavily at the border if they want to leave."

"These companies aren't going to be leaving anymore. They're not going to be taking people's hearts out," he said. "They're not going to be announcing like they did at Carrier, that they're closing up and they're moving to Mexico."

Carrier owner United Technologies had planned to move operations at its plant to Mexico by 2019, as well as a UT factory in Indiana with 700 workers.

Trump has also named retired marine general James "Mad Dog" Mattis as his defence secretary. Mattis has said that responding to "political Islam" is the major security issue facing the US.

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Mattis retired as chief of US Central Command in 2013 and has spoken before of Washington lacking an incisive, all-encompassing strategy in the Middle East; instead tackling issues one by one an ineffectual manner.

Trump was speaking a rally in Cincinnati, the first call on a post-election "thank you" tour, and said Mattis was "our best".

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