Donnelly Proposes Penalties For Companies That Outsource Jobs

May 20, 2016

Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly introduces policies designed to deter American companies from moving jobs overseas.
Credit Annie Ropeik

Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly is introducing policies that he says will deter American companies from outsourcing jobs to foreign countries. 

The recommendations come as Indiana-headquartered Carrier Corp. and United Technologies Electronic Controls are moving more than 2,000 jobs from Indiana to Mexico.

Donnelly hasn’t written a bill to dissuade companies from moving jobs overseas. 

Instead, he’s written policy recommendations that he sent to the Senate Finance Committee.  He says it’s faster.

“The advantage is trying to get it done as quickly as possible, and by sending it to the Finance Committee, they can incorporate it in pieces of legislation that are already in process,” he says.

Donnelly’s recommendations include not allowing companies to deduct costs of moving jobs overseas from their federal taxes and giving tax incentives and training grants first to companies that have invested in an American workforce or returned jobs to the U.S.

Donnelly says, for companies like United Technologies and Carrier that do send jobs out-of-country, the federal government should require the return of all incentives given within the past five years. 

“I think they have the ultimate cynical business model, which is trying to make a product in the lowest cost place they can find, and then try to ship it back into the same country where they fired the workers,” he says.  “They have almost $6 billion in federal contracts and we are looking at every single one.”

Donnelly also says he wants the federal government to prioritize awarding contracts to companies that use domestic labor.

Donnelly’s fellow Hoosier Senator, Republican Dan Coats, sits on the Senate Finance Committee.  But Donnelly says he hasn’t yet discussed his policy recommendations with Coats.