During his campaign, Donald Trump promised to bring manufacturing back to the United States, and Sen. Bernie Sanders is taking him up on that vow as inauguration day approaches.
The Vermont senator released a statement on Saturday, referencing the Carrier Corp. plant in Indiana that Trump promised to prevent from moving to Mexico.
I am working hard, even on Thanksgiving, trying to get Carrier A.C. Company to stay in the U.S. (Indiana). MAKING PROGRESS – Will know soon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2016
Sen. Sanders’ statement announced new legislation he will present that will “make sure Donald Trump keeps his promise to prevent the outsourcing of American jobs.”
According to the IndyStar online, Bernie Sanders’ statement specifically called out Carrier’s plan to move 2,100 jobs to Mexico.
‘Let’s be clear: it is not good enough to save some of these jobs. We cannot rest until United Technologies signs a firm contract to keep all of these good-paying jobs in Indiana without slashing the salaries or benefits workers have earned.
‘United Technologies is not going broke. Last year, it made a profit of $7.6 billion and received over $6 billion in defense contracts. It has also received more than $50 million in corporate welfare from the Export-Import Bank and very generous tax breaks.
‘I call on Mr. Trump to make it clear to the CEO of United Technologies that if his firm wants to receive another defense contract from the taxpayers of this country, it must not move these plants to Mexico.
The @Carrier Corporation wants to outsource 2,100 good paying American union jobs to Mexico where they will pay workers $3 an hour.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 26, 2016
We are sending a very clear message to corporate America: The era of outsourcing is over. https://t.co/O67wW69Mat
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 26, 2016
The good senator then outlined his new legislation, the Outsourcing Prevention Act, and gave a summary of the history that inspired him to act.
‘In February, Carrier and UTEC announced that it would be closing two plants in Indianapolis and Huntington, Indiana shipping 2,100 jobs to Monterrey, Mexico, where workers are paid just $3 an hour. Both of these plants are owned by United Technologies.
‘President-elect Trump made a promise during the campaign that he would prevent all of these jobs from being shipped overseas. The Outsourcing Prevention Act would make sure that Donald Trump keeps this promise…’
Sen. Bernie Sanders provided a list of the Act’s solutions for outsourcing:
1. Preventing companies that outsource jobs from receiving federal contracts, tax breaks, grants, or loans.
Using United Technologies as an example, Sanders points out that the company received over $6 million in federal contracts in 2015, as well as having sheltered two-thirds of its $38 billion in profits over the last 15 years. The legislation proposes that companies outsourcing over 50 jobs overseas be barred from receiving federal contracts, loans, or grants.
2. Clawing back federal benefits from companies that outsource jobs have received over the last decade.
The second item is more ambitious, but proposes that companies that outsource more than 50 jobs in any given year pay back all federal tax breaks, grants, or loans received over the last decade.
3. Establishing an outsourcing tax on companies that move U.S. jobs offshore.
This portion of the Outsource Prevention Act requires a tax equaling the savings that outsourcing provides or 35 percent of company profits, whichever is higher. Again, using United Technologies as an example, Sen. Sanders points out that it would be required to pay at least $65 million a year, which was the amount the company claimed it would save by moving its jobs to Mexico.
4. Prohibiting executives from profiting off of the outsourcing of U.S. jobs.
According to Sen. Sanders, United Technologies provided a “golden parachute” separation bonus to its former CEO that was worth more than $172 million. The legislation proposes tax penalties on stock options, bonuses, and “golden parachutes” to discourage high-level management from increasing profits by outsourcing.
Bernie Sanders has said in the past that he would be willing to work with Donald Trump on legislation that will increase jobs in the U.S., and he is certainly going to go to the mat with the new president-elect over this issue:
‘I will soon be introducing legislation to make sure that Donald Trump keeps his promise to prevent the outsourcing of American jobs. For the sake of American workers, this is a promise that cannot and must not be broken.’
United Technologies owns the Carrier Corp., a long-established manufacturer of residential and commercial heating, ventilating, and cooling (HVAC) equipment.
The full text of Sen. Sander’s statement is available at his website.
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