Trump didn’t know the GOP tax bill incentivizes business to offshore jobs

Rebekah Entralgo

Rebekah Entralgo Reporter, ThinkProgress

President Donald Trump was apparently unaware that a provision in his biggest legislative accomplishment encourages corporations to offshore jobs.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spoke with Trump Wednesday night about the closure of at least five General Motors plants, including one assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and filled him in on how the GOP tax bill is partly to blame.

“I reached him last night, he said he wanted to help, I said the first thing you could do is you could take away that tax provision in his tax bill that gives a company a 50 percent off coupon on their taxes,” Brown told CNN’s New Day Thursday. “If you’re producing in Lordstown you pay a 21 percent tax rate, if you move to Mexico you pay a 10.5 percent tax rate, and I told the president to get rid of that tax break that encourages jobs to move overseas.”

The president apparently did not know that was in the tax bill.

It’s difficult to believe that Trump didn’t know a significant result of the GOP tax bill would be a worsening of offshore tax dodging — especially when his own Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said it would. A report in April suggested corporations may be incentivized under the legislation to offshore “tangible assets” like factories and offices, and yes, jobs.

“By locating more tangible assets abroad, a corporation is able to reduce the amount of foreign income that is categorized as GILTI (Global Intangible Low Taxed Income),” the report stated. “Similarly, by locating fewer tangible assets in the United States, a corporation can increase the amount of U.S. income that can be deducted as FDII (Foreign-Derived Intangible Income). Together, the provisions may increase corporations’ incentive to locate tangible assets abroad.”

Those findings echoed previous analysis from non-partisan agencies like like the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which found the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would make offshore tax dodging even worse than it was before The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities similarly found that the plan is “likely to lead to more outsourcing of U.S. jobs and a larger trade deficit” due to its tax cuts for overseas profits.

Brown had reportedly reached out to the president earlier in the year when the first phase of layoffs at Lordstown occurred, but nothing was done. Now, with a key 2020 re-election campaign on the horizon and a mountain of bad press, Trump seems intent on saving face with voters in the key purple state of Ohio.

Brown told CNN that Trump subsequently expressed an interest in signing onto his American Jobs, American Cars Act that would eliminate the incentive for corporations to move jobs overseas and provide consumers with a $3,500 price deduction on a purchase or five-year lease of a new, American-made car.

“He said he wants to fix it, I take him at his word,” Brown said. “I’m working with his trade representative and we’re going to go to town on it in the next few weeks.”

Only time will tell if the president will follow through on his word to work with Brown, who is exploring a run for president in 2020. Earlier in the week Trump blamed Brown, but not Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, for the GM closures.

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Reposted from Think Progress

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Human Service Workers at Persad Center Vote to Join the USW

From the USW

Workers at Persad Center, a human service organization that serves the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS communities of the Pittsburgh area, voted last week to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The unit of 24 workers, ranging from therapists and program coordinators to case managers and administrative staff, announced their union campaign as the Persad Staff Union last month and filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

“We care about our work and the communities we serve,” said Johanna Smith, Persad’s Development, Communications, and Events Associate. “We strongly believe this work and our connections to our clients will only improve now that we will be represented by a union.”

The Persad workers join the growing number of white-collar professionals organizing with the USW, especially in the Pittsburgh region. Their membership is also in line with the recent work the Steelworkers have been doing to engage LGBTQ+ members and improve contract language regarding issues that affect their lives.

“Workplaces are changing and evolving, and the labor movement is changing and evolving along with that,” said USW Vice President Fred Redmond, who oversees the union’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee as well as the USW Health Care Workers Council. “This campaign gives us an opportunity to diversify our great union while uplifting and empowering a group of workers who give their all for others.”

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work