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Public Statements

Bring Jobs Home Act--Motion to Proceed

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I am here to speak in favor of the Bring Jobs Home Act. I wish to thank my colleague Senator Stabenow of Michigan, who understands this issue because in her State of Michigan they almost lost the auto industry. They almost lost the auto industry. There were those who said: Let them go bankrupt. We know who those people are.

We supported our President. We had a majority who did so. We had tough votes, and we said: We are not going to be the only industrialized country in the world to not have an auto industry. We looked at it as not only a jobs issue--clearly, it is a jobs issue--but we looked at it as a national security issue as well.

What this bill is about, the Bring Jobs Home Act, is making sure we see the words ``Made in America'' again--we see the words ``Made in America''--so it is not a surprise when we see those words, but we say: That is right. It is made in America because we have the best workforce, the best entrepreneurs in the world, and we need the jobs here.

What has happened over the years is that shipping jobs overseas became a trend and a lot of important voices were heard saying: That is just the way it is. It is not just the way it is. If we have policies in place that incentivize manufacturing and production here, we are not going to lose those jobs. But what happened during these years is that companies got a tax deduction for moving jobs overseas. Imagine that. We American taxpayers were subsidizing companies, giving them tax breaks for moving jobs overseas.

The Bring Jobs Home Act ends those tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. What we do instead is say: We will give a 20-percent tax credit to companies that move their jobs back from overseas. So they get a 20-percent tax credit for their moving expenses. So we stop giving tax incentives to companies that move jobs overseas, and we instead give tax incentives to those who bring them back.

Let me tell you the good news. The good news is that there are some companies that are coming back home. I wish to highlight a couple companies in California.

Simple Wave, a company that makes snack bowls from recycled materials,
relocated its production to Union City, CA, from China. Simple Wave chose to complete its manufacturing in America because they said it saves time and allows for greater quality control and flexibility.

A cofounder of Simple Wave, Rich Stump, said:

Our business is growing very quickly and by having the ability to react quickly and provide just-in-time manufacturing will provide the fuel to our growth. Knowing that we are contributing to the US economy re-shoring effort is a great feeling--

Listen to that. This is a businessman who says: ``Knowing that we are contributing to the US economy re-shoring effort is a great feeling''--

and we are confident that this will in turn provide a better quality product to our customers.

I say to my Republican colleagues--I do not know how they are going to vote, but they have not been very supportive of this bill--if a businessman feels great because he is bringing jobs home to the United States, why don't you feel great and do your part and take away tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and give them to companies that bring jobs home?

Here is another one.

LightSaver Technologies, in Carlsbad, CA, makes emergency lighting for homes. They also moved their manufacturing back from China. They found that making adjustments to the manufacturing process is easier when the plant is only 30 miles away, as opposed to 12 time zones away.

Jerry Anderson, one of the company's founders, said:

If we have an issue in manufacturing, in America we can walk down to the plant floor. We can't do that in China.

He says manufacturing in the U.S. is 2 to 5 percent cheaper once he takes into account the time and trouble of outsourcing jobs overseas.

Again, I say to my friends, if entrepreneurs such as these feel good about bringing jobs home, why are you continuing to support subsidies to companies that move jobs overseas?

We are coming out of a very tough recession--a very tough recession--and we know we need to create jobs here at home. I truly wish to say to the people who may be watching this debate--if there are a few; I think there might be just a few--we have control over this. We know if we give incentives to companies to ship jobs overseas, their bottom line is going to be changed by that. But if we give incentives to companies to bring jobs back, their bottom line will look much better.

So we have the opportunity with this important bill to move forward and turn things around. Do not believe when people say: Oh, it is just the way it is. We are just outsourcing. That is the global marketplace. That is it.

If we take that attitude, the future is going to be pretty bleak. Because we do have the greatest workers in the world. They have the best productivity of any workers--the best. So why would we say: It is just the way it is. We need to fight for those jobs. We need to fight. We have to stand up to the people who say: It is just the way it is. It is just the way business is.

When somebody tells us that kind of a simple statement, we should question it. It is the way it is for many reasons. One of them is, we are giving incentives right now to companies to ship jobs overseas.

A Wall Street Journal survey found that some of our largest corporations cut 2.9 million U.S. jobs over the last decade from America, while hiring 2.4 million people overseas. So they cut jobs here, and they created jobs there.

So when a politician says to you: I am for job creation, ask him, where. We want it here. We do not want it in other countries at the expense of American workers. We wish all countries well, but we have to take care of America.

People talked about the uniforms at the Olympics, and some said: Oh, I am not going to get into that. That is not such a big deal.

It is important. It is important we make a conscious effort for our athletes that they do have a ``Made in America'' label.

Many of us have had the experience of using, as a fundraising tool, the sale of T-shirts or purses or shopping bags or hats. Yes, it takes an effort to find the right place to go, but those can be made in America. I say it takes a little effort for a good result. As Senator Reid said, we have people in the textile industry crying for work. So do not just brush it off as a nonissue. It is an important issue.

In California, more than 3,400 jobs were lost to outsourcing this year alone--3,400.

From 2000 to 2010, the United States lost 5.7 million manufacturing jobs.

But it is not just manufacturing. Science and high-tech jobs, legal and financial services, business operations are being moved overseas as well. We all know we make those calls trying to find out something, whether it is an airline schedule or information on a product, and you get the sense the person is not talking to you from an American city. Why on Earth would we give incentives to have those jobs created elsewhere?

That is what this bill is all about. With 12.7 million unemployed people and only 3.6 million jobs that we have open nationwide, we have to find ways to reverse this trend.

I think Senator Stabenow has hit on a very good way to start with the bringing American jobs home act. It is so easy. We want to say to companies: We are for your bringing jobs back, to the extent that we will give you an actual tax credit for doing that. It is very key.

So I hope we can come together across the lines that divide us, these artificial lines, and work together. We have done it on a few occasions. We did it on the highway bill. I am so pleased we were able to do it then. The Presiding Officer was very involved in that. It was not easy. This one is easy. The highway bill had 30 different programs in it. We are talking about a very simple premise: Right now we give tax breaks to companies who shift jobs overseas, and we want to end it. Enough. It is not complicated; it is easy.

Why my Republican friends cannot join hands with us on this one I do not understand. But I have to say, we can do this for the American worker, whether they are from California or Ohio or Texas or Arizona or Maryland or Kentucky--wherever they may be. This is one we can do for the working people and the entrepreneurs of our Nation.

So I congratulate Senator Stabenow. I look forward to voting in favor of the Bring Jobs Home Act.

I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.

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