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Creating American Jobs And Ending Offshoring Act Of 2010--Motion To Proceed

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, this evening, we will be discussing--debating--a very important principle; that is, whether we are going to focus on making things in America and whether we are going to stop the incentives that ship our jobs overseas. This debate is about our efforts, through a bill we will be voting on tomorrow, to stop shipping our jobs overseas. That is what this is about.

We know we are in a global economy. We understand we need to do business around the world, but we want to export our products, not our jobs. Right now, we are exporting too many of our jobs. Frankly, there has been no State that has been hurt more from this set of policies as well as inactions than my home State of Michigan. No State has been hurt more.

For too long, we have not been enforcing our trade laws. We allow China to manipulate their currency so they can bring products into our country at a cheaper price artificially, which is against WTO. It is against the law. But they have been allowed to do that. I am very pleased the House is going to be taking action this week to address that. A number of us, Senator Schumer and I, Senator LINDSEY GRAHAM and a number of others, have legislation to do that, and we will be addressing that as we move forward in the Congress the rest of the year to get that done.

So enforcing our trade laws, stopping currency manipulation, stopping countries from stealing our patents, from artificially blocking us from going in and selling to them, this is very important. But we also know there are policies in place that have put the wrong incentives in place--the wrong incentives.

That is what the bill we will be voting on tomorrow will eliminate. We have two areas where we want to take away incentives right now to shift jobs overseas and we want to put in place an incentive to bring back jobs--three provisions in our bill.

There is an incentive to create American jobs by allowing a company that, after the passage of the bill, brings back a job--hopefully a lot of jobs--to the United States sometime in the next 3 years. They would get a holiday of the payroll tax for 2 years, for 24 months, if they are bringing jobs back and it is clear that job was coming back from overseas. If they are stopping a job overseas, creating a job here, we want to create an incentive.

We also want to take away those things that have encouraged jobs being shipped overseas. The second provision would deny business deductions of any costs associated with moving jobs overseas.

The third provision would end corporate tax deferral of overseas income.

Why in the world American taxpayers would want to subsidize essentially shipping jobs overseas through our Tax Code is beyond me. That is what we want to change. Someone should not be writing off the costs of moving the jobs overseas and setting up shop somewhere else. This legislation would take away that tax deduction, that business deduction for writing off those costs you use to ship jobs overseas.

I have seen the devastation in communities around Michigan from efforts where a business will close up shop and will take jobs overseas. In many cases it is over the river to Canada or down to Mexico. I remember Electrolux, in Greenville, MI--it was 2,700 jobs in a community of 8,000 people--making refrigerators. They were productive, doing a great job. There was a second shift, in some cases a third shift. But they decided a few years ago to close up shop, 2,700 jobs lost, and they went to Mexico--where they could pay $1.50 an hour, by the way.

We have a Tax Code that would allow Electrolux to write off the business expenses to take those 2,700 jobs down to Mexico. This legislation stops that. It would provide incentives for bringing jobs back.

We cannot have an economy unless we are making things. That is the second part of what we are doing. We want to stop jobs being shipped overseas, but we want to make it in America. We want to make things in America again. We do not have an economy, no country has an economy, unless we make things and grow things and add value to them. I am very proud to say in Michigan that is what we do: We make things, we grow things, we add value to things. If we focus on making things in America again, we will not only bring jobs back, we will bring the middle class back because, as we have learned painfully, after seeing the last decade a focusing on cheap prices but not where things are made, that if we do not have manufacturing in this country and if we are not focused on where things are made, we will lose good-paying middle-class jobs. We have lost many of them.

In fact, from 2001 until 2009 we lost 4.7 million manufacturing jobs in America. Nearly 27 percent of the jobs in manufacturing were lost during the last administration, from 2001 to 2009. We want to turn that around. In fact, we have been focused on turning that around. We have been focused in a number of ways to grow manufacturing, for example, in the Recovery Act with the Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit--48C it is dubbed--which has brought a number of new businesses to Michigan and others around the country, focusing on other kinds of clean energy manufacturing, to make things in America. We have begun to see the manufacturing numbers go up--way too slowly, but one of the ways to make sure it moves more quickly is if we close the incentives to ship the jobs overseas. If we close those incentives for shipping jobs overseas and, instead, put the right kinds of incentives in place, we will bring jobs back and we will be able to partner with businesses to be able to do that.

One example I was pleased to author in the Energy bill passed a couple of years ago is a retooling loan program to help automakers and others manufacturing to be able to retool older plants and to be able to bring jobs back. We have seen a wonderful case of that with Ford Motor Company bringing the Ford Focus production back from Mexico to a plant in Wayne, MI, partnering with the Federal Government on the right kind of incentives to retool a plant--from a truck plant down to an energy-efficient, fuel-efficient car plant. Those are the kinds of incentives we need to have in place, not incentives that say if you ship jobs overseas you can write off the costs on your taxes.

We know the kinds of incentives that can work. We have seen them work. We have to have a much more aggressive policy about making things in America and making sure that we are closing the loopholes that have stopped the efforts to take our jobs overseas.

There is so much we need to do. I feel a tremendous sense of urgency about this issue of making things in America because of my great State, where we make not only automobiles, we make appliances, we make medical equipment--you name it and somebody in Michigan is probably making parts for it.

We have created a whole generation and a middle class because of our ability to make things in America. Then we see what has happened, where we have seen the pressures coming in an international marketplace with other countries rushing to have a manufacturing policy--China, Korea, India, Germany, of course Japan--rushing to have a manufacturing economy and doing whatever they can, cutting corners, not following the law, stealing patents, manipulating currency, and putting up trade barriers.

We are in a marketplace where we have to fight for our businesses and our workers, to keep the opportunities to make things here in America, not fold up and assume that your jobs are going to be lost and, in fact, incentivize that by tax policy.

The legislation we have in front of us is one of the most important, fundamental pieces of legislation that we have voted on this year, in terms of jobs and turning the incentives around. We want to make things in America and we want to stop shipping our jobs overseas. We want to incentivize companies to bring jobs back by giving them a 2-year payroll holiday for jobs that are coming back from other countries and putting people to work. We want to take away the ability to defer taxes on profits made on businesses overseas and to use business deductions from the American tax system to be able to deduct from American taxes those costs that are being expended to ship jobs overseas.

This is a time to be focused on fighting for America, on fighting for good-paying jobs and for workers and for businesses that have done the right thing. People who do nothing more than get up and go to work in the morning are proud of their skills. We have the best, most skilled workforce, the best engineers. We create the innovation in this country. But our tax policies encourage that to go overseas to create jobs. That is what this legislation is meant to address. This is about fighting for America, fighting for our American dream. It is about making sure that our priority is to make things in America again and to stop the policies that are shipping our jobs overseas.

I see my colleague from California here, who is such a champion on this issue, who has spoken out so many times on behalf of her State of California. We share many things, actually, in terms of innovation. In fact, we talk about innovation oftentimes as created in California, that we are buying it and putting it in our automobiles as well as creating it ourselves in Michigan. We have a great partnership.

You have more computer power in your automobile than anything else you own and we are very proud of that, and we are proud of the partnership we have--I am proud of the partnership with my friend from California, who is such a fighter for her people and a fighter for jobs.

I will relinquish the floor at this time, but let me say this is very simple and the vote tomorrow is very simple. We want to stop shipping jobs overseas. We want to make it in America again.

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Ms. STABENOW. Thank you, Mr. President.

I have found it interesting, having the opportunity to spend this evening listening to colleagues on the other side of the aisle. A lot of things have been talked about except the bill we are going to be voting on tomorrow. We certainly want to focus on the legislation we will have an opportunity to vote on together tomorrow to decide whether we are going to take up a bill that will stop shipping our jobs overseas. That is what this is about. We want to make things in America again and stop the incentives for shipping jobs overseas.

I also wish to indicate that today, talking about certainty--and I agree with my friends on the other side of the aisle that we need economic certainty. I agree with that. It would be so helpful if everything was not filibustered and there wasn't sand thrown in the gears at every turn when we are trying to move forward and create economic certainty, making it take much longer in terms of trying to get to economic certainty. But I agree, and we agree, that we need certainty.

I wish to commend the Senator from Florida for working with us on the small business jobs bill that was just passed. The previous speaker said we need bonus depreciation. Well, but that particular Senator and the majority of the Senators voted against that in the small business bill. We need to extend expensing provisions, we were told a while ago. Well, the majority of Republicans voted against that. We need tax cuts for small business, we were told. Well, we just had a bill with $12 billion in tax cuts for small businesses that the majority of the Republicans voted against. Again, with all due respect to my colleague from Florida who reached across the aisle and helped make that happen--and we are very grateful--but I have been listening all evening to people talking about how we need tax cuts who just voted against tax cuts. They have talked about how we need certainty, and certainly one of the areas where we need certainty is in small business lending, and we have just created that.

In fact, tomorrow, we are told, the SBA is going to provide about 1,400 loans for small businesses to be able to grow and expand and hire people--tomorrow--because of what was signed today. So that creates a little bit more certainty. We certainly need more of that. I am all for doing that, and I am all for creating the kind of level playing field that was talked about as well.

We want to export our products, not our jobs. But at every step of the way, from the Recovery Act we passed 18 months ago to focus on manufacturing--making things in America, clean energy, advanced battery technologies, jobs and infrastructure--from that time until now we have seen nothing but delay tactic after delay tactic after delay tactic, slowing down the economic certainty that colleagues are now talking about this evening. So we want that certainty.

We want certainty for middle-class families in this country who have been torn apart because of the fact that we have lost jobs. We have lost 4.7 million manufacturing jobs in this country under the policies of the last administration that now, we were told last week, they want to do again. The proposals unveiled by our Republican colleagues are exactly the same proposals that cost my State 1 million jobs. We are not interested in going back to that. We want to keep on a course that is going to get us out of the hole.

So what is this bill about? I will soon turn this over to my colleagues to speak as well. What are we really talking about tonight? We are talking about doing three things that will bring jobs back that have been lost overseas. These jobs have been lost to China time and time again. They have been lost to India, lost to Brazil, lost to Mexico, and lost to many other countries because of a system we have that doesn't have a level playing field on trade, is not enforcing our trade laws, having some trade agreements that are not fair, and then having incentives that reward companies to write off their costs here while the jobs are shipped overseas. So we want to stop that.

This bill, in fact, would prohibit a firm from taking any deduction, a loss or credit, for amounts paid in connection with reducing or ending the operation of trade or business in the United States and starting a similar trade or business overseas. What is that about? Well, we don't think American taxpayers should have to pay the bill through a deduction or a credit while their jobs are being shipped overseas. Companies shouldn't be able to write that off their taxes.

We are also saying through this bill that we want to end the Federal tax subsidy that rewards U.S. firms that move their production overseas. Finally, we want to provide a carrot to say, if in the next 3 years a company closes down operations and brings jobs back--and we have success stories like that to tell of companies that are doing that--but if they do that, close operations in the next 3 years, bring the jobs back, they will get a 2-year payroll tax holiday. So they will get a tax cut if they bring jobs back.

That is the simple bill. It is very simple. It is very straightforward. We want to take away the incentives to ship jobs overseas--the subsidies that cause Americans to lose their jobs--turning around and then subsidizing the jobs overseas, and we want to create incentives to bring jobs back. That is what this is about. This adds to what the President signed today in terms of the small business bill that creates jobs. This is another step in our effort to make sure we are focusing on American jobs.

We want to make sure we are making it in America again. It is no surprise we have lost the middle class as we have lost manufacturing. Our ability to have good-paying American jobs is built on the premise of a foundation that says we are going to make things in this country. We are going to make things. We are going to grow things. We are going to add value to it. That is what has created the middle class of this country. We are losing that. People are losing their jobs, losing their futures, their ability to care for their families, as we are seeing these jobs shipped overseas. This bill is about bringing them back. It is one piece of the puzzle. Take away the tax deductions and bring them back. That is what this is about.

Tomorrow, the question is, Do you want to debate it? Do you want to move to the bill? It is not final passage; it is voting to move to the bill so we can have the debate about creating that certainty and creating jobs and making things in America again.

I see my friend from Rhode Island, and I wish to turn things over to him because I know he is a passionate advocate for jobs, as I am. We often share, unfortunately, the same kinds of concerns about jobs in Rhode Island and Michigan. I know the Senator from Rhode Island cares passionately about bringing those jobs back to America.

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