Today, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-Rochester), a fierce advocate for policies that support American manufacturing and end outsourcing, announced her support for a "Make it in America" agenda, and criticized Republicans for blocking efforts to end the outsourcing of jobs. Congresswoman Slaughter's "Make it in America" agenda includes measures that would end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and instead give those tax breaks to companies who bring American jobs back; require electronic components sensitive to national security to be made in America; and require foreign trading partners to lift bans on American goods before the United States lowers tariffs on foreign goods.
Introduced by Doug Williams, the CEO of Hickey Freeman's parent company, and Jim Bertolone, President of the Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation, Congresswoman Slaughter made the announcement in front of dozens of supporters at Hickey Freeman, an American manufacturing icon located in Rochester.
"It's time to end tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas, and it's time to end the unfair bans on American goods across the world," Congresswoman Slaughter said. "Instead, we need to help companies that create jobs here at home, and rebuild the American Dream. That's why I'm fighting for this Made in America agenda: to level the playing field for American manufacturers and workers."
Rep. Slaughter called for passage of the Bring American Jobs Home Act (S. 3364, H.R 5542), which would end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and would instead use those tax breaks to reward companies who bring jobs back home. Rep. Slaughter also advocated for two bills that she introduced in Congress. The Keep America Secure Act (H.R. 2974) would require the high-tech electronic tools used by the CIA, the FBI and the military to be made in the United States. According to a report by Tom Ridge, the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. risks "being dangerously unprepared for serious emergencies because of the off-shoring of critical manufacturing sectors." The Reciprocal Markets Access Act (H.R. 1749) instructs U.S. trade negotiators to eliminate foreign market barriers before reducing U.S. tariffs.
"We can't be the world's only superpower if we don't make anything anymore, and it's long past time that our biggest exports were something other than American jobs and empty shipping containers," Congresswoman Slaughter said. "I want to see Hickey Freeman suits being sold in Chinese shopping malls, and Chevys being driven on the streets of Tokyo and Seoul. I want to see U.S. Steel being used in construction projects in India, and the label "made in the USA" on clothes in Berlin."
In the last 18 months, Republicans have voted 13 times against considering Democratic efforts to prevent or discourage the shipping of American jobs overseas and to crack down on offshore tax havens and in favor of pro-outsourcing measures. In July, Republicans in the Senate blocked consideration of the Bring America Jobs Home Act (S. 3364, H.R 5542), which Slaughter is a cosponsor. This legislation would stop tax breaks for companies that ship American jobs overseas, and provide a new tax credit to businesses that bring outsourced jobs back to the United States.
Slaughter has previously passed legislation to level the playing field so that domestic clothing manufacturers like Hickey Freeman can compete against unfair foreign competition. Recently, she stepped in to intervene on behalf of Hickey Freeman's 400 local workers by asking financial institutions to ensure the manufacturer has adequate credit.