WASHINGTON — Some lawmakers said it’s time to hold companies accountable for shipping jobs overseas.
A new bill would force companies that move jobs to other countries to reveal that information publicly. Opponents said this amounts to public shaming and will cost Americans more.
The Outsourcing Accountability Act would force companies to publicly own up to sending American jobs overseas. “I think the federal government should gather all the information it can about companies that shut down production in the U.S. and move overseas,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said. Brown sponsors the Senate version of the bill.
If it passes, companies would have to reveal how much of their workforce is overseas and show the percentage change every year.
Brown said current laws basically encourage companies to move out of the company. “That’s why companies move overseas, in part, they get cheap labor and lower taxes, and that’s just wrong,” he said.
But opponents said using foreign workers allows companies to keep prices low for consumers, and that this bill would hurt Americans trying to get by. “The goal of this is really to shame companies,” said Joel Griffith of the Heritage Foundation.
Griffith, an economic policy expert with the foundation, said the bill does nothing to help average Americans. “This legislation is both unnecessary and this will create a needless compliance burden on companies,” he said.
Brown disagrees and hopes his legislation gains traction. “I think people will want to go on the bill and I’m hopeful Republicans will, too,” he said.
However, no Republicans have signed on so far.