AFL-CIO pushes tax break to “bring jobs home”

The AFL-CIO is promoting a plan to give businesses a tax credit when they bring jobs back to the United States, and end the tax deductibility of business expenses related to offshoring.

Oregon AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Barbara Byrd (center) was joined by Northwest Oregon Labor Council executive secretary-treasurer Bob Tackett (right) and Blumenauer staffer Ree Armitage for a July 6 press conference touting the Bring Jobs Home Act.

The Bring Jobs Home Act is not considered to have any chance of passage, since it has no Republican co-sponsors and Republicans have a majority in the U.S. House. But Senate Democratic leaders have told top AFL-CIO officials that they will schedule a vote on it in the coming days — a vote that might embarrass Senate Republicans who vote against it.

The House version of the bill, HR 5542, is sponsored by Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and has 36 co-sponsors, including Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) The Senate version, S. 2884, is sponsored by Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has six co-sponsors, including Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) The bill would reduce a corporation’s income tax bill by up to one-fifth of any expenses involved in bringing work back to the United States. And it would spell out that any money spent to outsource work overseas cannot be treated as an ordinary business expense, which businesses deduct from gross income to determine their taxable income.

To tout the bill in Portland, Oregon AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Barbara Byrd was joined by Northwest Oregon Labor Council executive secretary-treasurer Bob Tackett and Blumenauer staffer Ree Armitage for a July 6 press conference outside the gates of Port of Portland Terminal 2.

Byrd said the location was chosen because Terminal 2 is both an import and export terminal, but Oregon has come largely to export raw materials and import finished goods. Returning manufacturing jobs to the United States would be the key to a real recovery, she said. Byrd said the latest jobs figures make that point: Bureau of Labor Statistics reported no decrease in unemployment for the month of June: Nationally 8.2 percent of workers are officially unemployed. Jobs grew by 84,000 in June, but that was less than the 100,000 needed per month to keep up with the growing workforce. Meanwhile, the percentage of workers who are unemployed, underemployed or have dropped out of the labor force actually rose from 14.8 percent in May to 14.9 percent in June.

The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers are planning a similar publicity event July 9 outside a shuttered Kimberly Clark pulp mill in Everett. [Here’s a report on that rally.] About 750 workers lost their jobs earlier this year when the mill closed, and the closure was determined by the government to be trade-related.

National AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka has pushed the Bring Jobs Home Act as one part of a strategic jobs plan that would also include fair trade policies, curtailing currency manipulation and closing tax rules that discourage U.S. corporations from repatriating overseas profits.

The national AFL-CIO has set up a text message alert system for the campaign: Texting “JOBS” to 235246 will allow the labor federation to send “info and action alerts to help bring America’s jobs home.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*