Earlier this summer, on the very same day GM laid off workers at its historic plant in Lordstown, we got word that GM plans to build its new Chevy Blazer in Mexico – the company is bypassing American workers and sending more jobs to Mexico.
In 2010, we worked hard to save the American auto industry, including GM, because we knew what these plants and this industry means to communities in Ohio and across the country.
But announcements like this one are proof that we need to do more to keep auto jobs in the U.S. and stop rewarding companies that send jobs overseas.
That’s why I introduced legislation to help us level the playing field with foreign competition, by making it more affordable for Americans to buy American-made cars and trucks, and revoking a special GOP tax cut for auto companies that send jobs overseas.
My bill, the American Cars, American Jobs Act, has two simple parts:
First, customers who buy cars that are made in the U.S. get $3,500 off. The discount would apply to nearly 100 cars, trucks, and SUVs, including all passenger vehicles assembled in Ohio.
Second, auto companies that cut the number of American jobs they had on the day the GOP tax bill passed and add those jobs overseas, lose a special tax break they get on their overseas profits.
In their tax giveaway to corporations last year, Republicans in Congress gave companies new tax incentives to close auto plants here in the U.S. and ship those jobs to Mexico or other foreign countries. This happened because their tax bill allowed companies to pay just 10.5 percent in taxes on some of their overseas profits, instead of the full 21 percent corporate rate. That’s like handing out 50 percent off coupons to companies that send jobs overseas.
This bill puts a stop to that. It says that if you choose to send jobs overseas, you lose that coupon and pay the full 21 percent. On the other hand, if you keep jobs in the U.S., you keep your discount.
The world was reminded eight years ago to never bet against the American auto industry and the workers who are the engine behind it.
We invested in saving this industry, yet we have a trade and tax policy set up to undermine it.
This legislation will work to change that, leveling the playing field for American cars and American workers.
Sherrod Brown is the senior U.S. senator from Ohio.