Remember When Romney Cracked Down on Outsourcing? Me Neither
By James P. Hoffa, General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Published in The Huffington Post on November 4, 2012
Millions of Americans need good-paying jobs. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney doesn't have a plan to create them.
That's just what you'd expect from a man who made his fortune sending American jobs overseas and profitable companies into bankruptcy.
Our standard of living is falling because too many jobs are outsourced and too many workers are treated as disposable. It is not falling because of the deficit, high taxes or regulation. Outsourcing alone cost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000. And median wages have dropped over the past decade
You can blame Mitt Romney for contributing to America's race to the bottom. A Romney presidency is a serious threat to working families.
Before entering politics in 1994, Romney was co-founder and CEO of Bain Capital. Bain was one of the first private-equity companies to outsource good American jobs to China, India, Mexico, Taiwan and Malaysia.
As Massachusetts's governor, Romney vetoed a bill that banned state contracts with companies that outsourced state work overseas.
And he opposed President George W. Bush's tariffs on steel imported from China. He opposed President Barack Obama's tariffs on tires imported from China
In case anyone thinks Romney has changed his mind about shipping jobs overseas - well, he hasn't. Just ask the workers at Sensata Technologies whose jobs are moving to China. The Bain-owned company decided to put 170 long- time employees out of work at the profitable auto-parts plant. During a week when the Sensata workers trained their Chinese replacements, the company took down the American flag that flew in front of the building.
If Romney were serious about cracking down on outsourcing, he wouldn't wait until getting elected to prove it. He still has influence over the company. He has substantial investments in Bain - including as much as $2.25 million in three Bain funds with large stakes in at least eight Chinese businesses.
Romney could have asked Bain to keep those 170 jobs in Freeport. He didn't.
The story of the highly profitable Sensata company shows the real reason jobs are outsourced: greed.
Romney and his vice-presidential pick, Paul Ryan, argue that corporations sell out American workers because of a high tax burden. But the effective corporate tax rate is the lowest in 40 years - and many of our biggest corporations pay little or nothing in taxes.
President Obama fought against outsourcing over the last four years. He imposed tariffs on tires and steel tubing for oil fields. He challenged China over unfair trade practices in auto parts and cars. He pushed for the Bring Jobs Home Act, which gets rid of tax breaks for moving jobs overseas and rewards those that bring jobs back to the U.S.
Republicans in Congress blocked President Obama's effort to pass the Bring Jobs Home Act. And they thwarted all his attempts to make wealthy people like Mitt Romney pay their fair share of taxes.
Now more than ever, workers need to vote their wallet in this election - because we know Romney will vote for his.
To read archived articles from General President Hoffa, click here.