WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — It’s difficult to tell how many potential American jobs are instead filled overseas, but a bill sponsored by an Ohio Democrat would change that.
Sen. Sherrod Brown wants to pass legislation that would make all publicly traded companies disclose how many workers they have in international locations and any annual changes in those numbers. He hopes it will increase public pressure on companies like General Motors to keep jobs in the U.S.
Trade unions say they’re fed up with big businesses taking jobs abroad and leaving domestic workers behind with empty promises.
“There’s been over a million manufacturing jobs that have moved overseas since the passage of NAFTA,” Roy Houseman of the United Steel Workers said. “When they (companies) say they’re hiring 1,000 people, where exactly are they hiring these 1,000 people? … We want accountability.”
Brown said the federal government can do something to make that accountability happen.
“We want to see where exactly those dollars are going,” he said.
That’s why, for the second year in a row, he has put forth a plan to force transparency on foreign jobs. There is currently no such law on the books, and Brown said that emboldens corporations to move jobs.
“They think they can just get away with things,” Brown said.
He cited GM’s shuttering of a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, as a prime example. About 4,500 workers were laid off because of the closure. Meanwhile, GM is boosting production in Mexico.
“When people find out what some of these decisions are based off for some of these companies, I think they’ll take a second look at what they’re doing,” Brown said.
His bill died last year, but he is hoping to garner support as lawmakers debate new trade deals with Mexico and Canada.