Lawmakers introduced a bill in Congress Thursday aimed to deter U.S. companies from outsourcing jobs overseas.
The Defending American Jobs Act of 2004, sponsored by more than 50 legislators, proposes to cut federal funding from companies that lay off workers at higher rates in the U.S. than abroad. The legislation would also require companies that apply for federal grants and loans to declare the salaries of employees in the U.S. and abroad, said Joel Barkin, spokesman for Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the bills principle sponsor.
"Millions of jobs in manufacturing and technology are shipped overseas to countries where companies can pay employees far less money," said Barkin. "There are a number of companies that have continued to get federal funding while at the same time outsourcing jobs overseas."
Barkin pointed to Motorola as an example of one such company: "Motorola since 2001 has laid off 43,000 workers and invested $3.4 billion into China while receiving 190 million" in federal funding.
Motorola spokeswoman Margot Brown responded in a statement, "Today, nearly half of our global workforce and revenues come from the USA--our home market. Although economic trends and market realities have shifted the balance over the years, the … U.S. workforce are powerful engines of innovation for Motorola, and we are committed to working with government agencies and other technology leaders to keep it that way."
The bill was referred to the Government Reform Committee on Thursday.