Sanders: Chamber Would Rather Have Companies Pay Vietnamese 20 Cents An Hour Than Hire Americans

Today, Senate Democrats tried to bring the Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act, which would give “companies…that shift overseas jobs to the U.S.” a special payroll tax holiday, to the floor for a full vote. Yet thanks to a united Republican filibuster and the defection of a handful of Democratic caucus senators — Max Baucus (MT), Ben Nelson (NE), Jon Tester (MT), Mark Warner (VA), and Joe Lieberman (CT) — the Democrats failed to achieve cloture and were unable to bring the bill up for a vote.

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce declared its opposition to the bill, claiming that “replacing a job that is based in another country with a domestic job does not stimulate economic growth.” The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) also came out against the bill, arguing it would “jeapordize” American job creation.

Today, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) answered questions from reporters about the legislation’s demise. He told them that, “of course,” NAM and the Chamber opposed the offshoring bill because they “much prefer paying people in Vietnam 20 cents an hour than American workers a living wage”:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday blasted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) for opposing legislation that attempts to in-source jobs by granting companies a payroll tax holiday that shift overseas jobs to the U.S. and limits the use of tax deferral. “Of course they are [opposed],” Sanders told reporters. “They much prefer paying people in Vietnam 20 cents an hour than American workers a living wage.” […]


Sanders suggested that these organizations oppose the bill because it bolsters the bottom lines of their members. “It is to their advantage, in many cases, to shut down plants here and pay people a fraction of the wages that American workers lose by going to China,” Sanders said. “What’s the surprise about that?”

The Chamber has made passing legislation that makes it easier for its member corporations to offshore labor a centerpiece of their agenda. NAM also makes expanding U.S. hiring overseas a main part of their legislative plans.


Sanders appeared on MSNBC’s The Ed Show last night to talk about the offshoring bill. Watch it:

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