U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) will introduce a bill in Congress later this month to punish companies for outsourcing American jobs, using federal contracts and tax breaks as leverage.
At a press conference in Indianapolis Friday, Donnelly spoke alongside workers from companies moving production from Indiana to Mexico, including Rexnord and Carrier.
Lita Freeman is one of 700 employees who will be laid off at Carrier’s factory in Huntington.
“You’re going to have a lot of middle-aged, very educated, unemployed people,” she says. “It’s going to be hard for those people to find jobs in the counties that we’re in.”
To prevent more of this, Donnelly says he would require companies bidding on federal contracts to disclose if they’d cut any jobs that were moved overseas. Companies that did would face up to a 10 percent penalty on any contract they received, he says.
“My job is to make sure [workers'] tax dollars aren’t used to be given to the same people who fired them, when there can be competition and products can be made by companies that keep people in America,” Donnelly says.
His bill would also revoke tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas, and offer new tax incentives for companies that bring jobs back to the U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump has promised other means to combat outsourcing, including higher on imports from companies that have moved jobs to other countries, and lower business tax rates.
Donnelly has said he’s willing to work with Trump on combating outsourcing once Trump takes office. Donnelly plans to file his bill the week after the presidential inauguration.