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Resolutions & Amendments

40th International Convention - Los Angeles, CA (2012)


Resolution No. 75
40th International Convention
Los Angeles Convention Center
June 18 - 22, 2012
Los Angeles, CA


            The United States has lost more manufacturing jobs over the previous decade than during the Great Depression.  On average, 1,276 manufacturing jobs were lost every day for the past 12 years. More than 66,000 manufacturing facilities have closed and nearly six million manufacturing jobs have been lost.  The reasons for this decline are the outsourcing of manufacturing offshore and systematic and egregious currency manipulation by China; and


            The tax code currently rewards U.S. companies for moving jobs abroad.  A tax break allows companies to deduct expenses associated with moving operations overseas.  Businesses can claim the cost of moving personnel and business components as a business expense and deduct the cost when filing their taxes.  American workers not only lose their jobs to overseas outsourcing, but also help foot the bill with their tax dollars; and


            In addition, over $1 trillion in untaxed U.S. corporate profits is being held offshore.  Another tax break allows corporations to delay indefinitely U.S. taxes on foreign profits, much from offshore production of goods sold in the U.S. market.  This encourages corporations to shift their profits to offshore tax havens and is another incentive to offshore jobs.  A tax amnesty several years ago to allow repatriation of these profits at a hugely discounted rate, ostensibly to help create jobs, did nothing of the sort.   This ability to hold profits overseas has been another incentive to offshore jobs; and


            Trade deficits mean lost manufacturing jobs.   According to the Economic Policy Institute, between 2001 and 2010, 2.8 million U.S. jobs were lost or displaced because of the large and growing trade deficit with China.  To keep its products artificially inexpensive in the U.S., China undervalues, or manipulates, its currency by 40 percent.  It is also increasing tariffs and putting up other barriers to the sale of U.S. goods in China.  Negotiations with China on these matters have been fruitless; and


            The Obama administration has taken critical steps to stabilize the economy.  Ensuring the survival of the domestic auto industry preserved crucial manufacturing jobs in the United States.  Investments in clean energy and infrastructure with Buy American requirements have also preserved jobs; and


            Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Congress to address the tax code.  The Bring Jobs Home Act (S. 2884/H.R. 5542), introduced by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D.-MI) and Representative Bill Pascrell (D.-NJ), and endorsed by the White House, would end the tax loophole that rewards U.S. companies for moving jobs abroad and would cut taxes for U.S. companies that move jobs and business activity back to America; and


            Legislation to address currency manipulation is stalled in Congress. The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act (S. 1619) passed the Senate in October 2011, but is stalled in the House Ways and Means committee.  A similar bill in the House, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2011(H.R. 639) is also stalled in the Ways and Means Committee; and


            The AFL-CIO is launching a grassroots mobilization, called America Wants to Work, in July on the issue of overseas outsourcing of jobs.


            We have to stop shipping good jobs overseas and start creating good jobs in the U.S. again.  It is time to align our tax, trade and public investment policies to support manufacturing.  The Obama administration has made a good start, but more must be done; and


            Congress should eliminate tax incentives that encourage U.S. companies to ship jobs overseas and create incentives to return jobs.  AFSCME supports the passage of the Bring Jobs Home Act to achieve this goal.  Congress should also end the system of tax deferral that allows U.S. multinational firms to keep profits offshore and encourages even more job loss to overseas outsourcing.  AFSCME opposes calls for another repatriation amnesty. Congress should move legislation stalled in the House and quickly address currency manipulation by foreign governments, particularly China; and


            AFSCME endorses the AFL-CIO’s America Wants to Work mobilization. We encourage affiliates to take part in this grassroots campaign to push for solutions to overseas outsourcing and bring jobs home.

SUBMITTED BY:     International Executive Board