Schumer sponsors tax reform bill to retrieve outsourced state jobs

The outsourcing of American jobs overseas is hardly a revelation.

For years, U.S. companies attracted to convenient tax loopholes have earnestly set up shop abroad, leaving hundreds of thousands of American workers relegated to the unemployment line.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., in an effort to curtail these numbers and potentially retrieve jobs lost, announced a new bill Wednesday that would eliminate tax deductions for companies that ship jobs overseas and incentivize New York businesses that have already shipped jobs to bring them back.

“We should be doing everything in our power to encourage job growth at home and discourage companies from shipping good-paying New York jobs abroad,” Schumer said. “Unfortunately, our current tax code includes incentives that make outsourcing a much more attractive option for companies than it should be.”

Aptly titled the Bring Jobs Home Act, the Schumer-backed bill includes a 20 percent tax credit that any business can use to reduce their overall tax liability for costs associated with moving a production line, trade or business located outside the country back into the U.S.

A company can only receive this tax credit if the company’s full-time U.S. employment increases from the prior year.

The legislation would also close loopholes for shipping jobs overseas by ending the deduction companies can take for business expenses associated with outsourcing.

“Companies are telling us that if (current) tax laws changed, they would bring jobs back because New York is more competitive than it was before,” Schumer said. “Our energy costs are lower … and many of these jobs are high-end manufacturing jobs and require skills that are available here. There are also companies that first grew their companies overseas and are now looking to move those foreign operations back to American soil because they know the best products are made in America by American workers with American sweat.”

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce showed that nearly 2.4 million American jobs were outsourced in the past 10 years.

In Upstate New York alone, 102 companies have sent more than 12,000 jobs overseas from 2008-12, a critical blow to the upstate economy.

Schumer further presented data showing the number of New York businesses by region that have shipped jobs overseas between 2008 and 2013.

For Western New York, which includes Chautauqua County, there are at least 22 companies that have outsourced 2,132 jobs overseas.

Vince Horrigan, Chautauqua County executive, stated that manufacturing jobs, in particular, took the hardest hit during the Great Recession. However, there are signs of improvement.

“We continue to hear that there’s more and more opportunities for jobs to come back to (Chautauqua County) that had previously been outsourced,” Horrigan said. “We’re now starting to see a rebirth of manufacturing … and I think we’re definitely headed in the right direction.”

Schumer concluded that the bill, which will reach the Senate floor Monday, should not be a partisan issue, but rather one the entire country should rally behind.

“This bill is a no-brainer,” he said. “I always fight tooth and nail for every single job in New York, and I am pushing for this tax change because I know it will lead to more ‘We are Hiring’ signs cropping up across the state.”