Highlighting President Donald Trump's failure to follow through on his promise to shutter loopholes that encourage massive corporations to ship jobs overseas—and with the tax bill he signed into law last year actually expanding these loopholes—Democrats in the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced legislation that would put an end to these unjust incentives and help "level the playing field" for American workers.
Endorsed by dozens of advocacy groups and labor unions, the No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act—spearheaded by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)—would:
- Equalize tax rates for corporate profits at home and overseas;
- Roll back tax breaks for offshore investments;
- "Eliminate tax break for foreign oil and gas extraction income"; and
- "Treat 'foreign' corporations that are managed and controlled in the U.S. as domestic corporations.
"When running for president Donald Trump promised to stop U.S. manufacturing from disappearing overseas, but his tax plan will do the opposite," Whitehouse said in a statement on Tuesday. "The 'No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act' is a critical remedy to ending the new Trump tax incentives that encourage corporations to outsource jobs and shift profits offshore."
"We should be concerned that the new law means the richest multinationals will pay lower rates than their smaller, wholly domestic counterparts. The new system is backwards."
—Clark Gascoigne, FACT Coalition
As Common Dreams reported, labor unions and lawmakers were raising concerns as early as last October that the Republican tax bill being crafted without much debate and behind closed doors was a "con job" that would "give multinational corporations a giant loophole to avoid paying their fair share of taxes."
The legislation Trump signed into law last December confirmed these fears, and now advocacy groups and members of Congress are are seeking to take Trump to task for betraying one of his central campaign promises and—once again—selling out the workers he promised to fight for.
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In a statement endorsing the Not Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act, Americans for Tax Fairness executive director Frank Clemente slammed the Trump-GOP tax law as "a jobs killer" that "provides even more tax incentives than existed before for corporations to outsource U.S. jobs and shift profits offshore."
"It cut in half the tax rate corporations will pay on offshore profits in general, but then it effectively eliminates taxes on offshore profits derived from new plant and equipment located offshore," Clemente added. "It is critical to level the playing field so that U.S. workers and U.S. corporations are on an equal footing with the subsidiaries of U.S. corporations operating offshore. Otherwise, corporations will game the system created by this new tax law and working families, communities and Main Street businesses will pay the price."
The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition also endorsed the Democrats' bill on Tuesday, praising it for attempting to reverse components the GOP tax law that are a "real kick in the gut for workers."
"It wasn't that long ago that there was justifiable outrage over tax rules that allowed billionaire Warren Buffett to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary," Clark Gascoigne, deputy director of the FACT Coalition, said in a statement. "We should be equally concerned that the new law means the richest multinationals will pay lower rates than their smaller, wholly domestic counterparts. The new system is backwards."