Last February, Carrier announced that it was offshoring its US air-conditioner manufacturing jobs to Mexico, despite having made a $7.6B profit that year, despite having received more than $6B in US military contracts, despite having recved a $50M tax-break, despite having paid its retiring CEO a $172m bonus, despite having spent $12b on stock-inflating accounting tricks.
The shenanigans made them the poster child for the collapse of the rustbelt during the 2016 election, and Donald Trump promised that if elected, he would slap Carrier's Mexican-produced goods with high tariffs unless it kept "every one" of its jobs in the USA.
Yesterday, Trump announced with great fanfare that he had brokered a deal to keep less than half of Carrier's jobs in the USA, in exchange for a very generous tax-subsidy paid for by the Americans who -- unlike Trump -- pay taxes.
In other words, Trump has shown that companies that threaten to leave the USA will be allowed to do so with impunity, and will, furthermore, get paid to do so by the American taxpayer.
In a Washington Post editorial, Bernie Sanders points out that Trump could have used a stick rather than a worker-funded carrot to keep Carrier in the country -- for example, by threatening to end its generous tax-subsidies, or by threatening to yank the billions the company receives as a military contractor.
We need to re-instill an ethic of corporate patriotism. We need to send a very loud and clear message to corporate America: The era of outsourcing is over. Instead of offshoring jobs, the time has come for you to start bringing good-paying jobs back to America.
If United Technologies or any other company wants to keep outsourcing decent-paying American jobs, those companies must pay an outsourcing tax equal to the amount of money they expect to save by moving factories to Mexico or other low-wage countries. They should not receive federal contracts or other forms of corporate welfare. They must pay back all of the tax breaks and other corporate welfare they have received from the federal government. And they must not be allowed to reward their executives with stock options, bonuses or golden parachutes for outsourcing jobs to low-wage countries. I will soon be introducing the Outsourcing Prevention Act, which will address exactly that.
If Donald Trump won’t stand up for America’s working class, we must.
Bernie Sanders: Carrier just showed corporations how to beat Donald Trump [Bernie Sanders/Washington Post]
(Image: End Corporate Welfare, Woman's Enews, CC-BY)