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House Republican Majority unites to vote down Peters Outsourcing Accountability Amendment

Republicans vote against transparency in outsourcing and against giving consumers the information they need to support companies that create American jobs

Washington, D.C. - Today U.S. Rep. Gary Peters denounced the Republican Majority for voting down his Outsourcing Accountability Amendment which would have provided consumers and investors with transparency into which companies are creating American jobs and which ones are outsourcing. Right now publicly traded companies are required to file their total number of employees annually, however the Peters Outsourcing Accountability Amendment simply would have required them to break these numbers down by country and, if in America, by state. By requiring publicly traded companies to disclose this information, consumers and investors would have the information necessary to make an informed decision about whether they choose to spend their hard earned dollars on companies that create American jobs or companies that engage in outsourcing.

The final vote tally was 175 to 230 with all but three Republicans voting to protect corporate outsourcers instead of American workers.

Below is a video of U.S. Rep. Peters debating his Amendment on the floor of the House:

Today House Republicans voted in lockstep to protect corporate outsourcers by preventing consumers from having the information they need to support companies that create American jobs,” said U.S. Rep. Gary Peters. “In the last decade, it's estimated that multinational corporations eliminated almost 3 million American jobs while adding 2.4 million overseas, and we need to fight for American jobs. The families I represent in Michigan have felt the impact of outsourcing for years and House Republicans are wrong to deny them the opportunity to support companies that create American jobs.”

During the debate, Republicans argued that the Peters Outsourcing Accountability Amendment would create problematic regulations, but as U.S. Rep. Peters pointed out, this argument is completely baseless.

“Companies know where they send their paychecks and they already have to file their total number of employees annually, so for the Republicans to suggest that having publicly traded companies disclose to their investors where these jobs are constitutes an excessive paperwork and accounting burden is false and ridiculous,”added U.S. Rep. Gary Peters.

Because the Peters Outsourcing Accountability Amendment would help consumers and investors make a decision about whether they want to support American jobs, it has earned the strong support of the AFL-CIO, the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers AFL-CIO & CLC and the Americans for Financial Reform.

The Americans for Financial Reform includes:

•   A New Way Forward
•   Alliance For Justice
•   Americans for Democratic Action, Inc
•   American Income Life Insurance
•   Americans United for Change
•   Campaign for America’s Future
•   Campaign Money
•   Center for Digital Democracy
•   Center for Economic and Policy Research
•   Center for Economic Progress
•   Center for Media and Democracy
•   Center for Responsible Lending
•   Center for Justice and Democracy
•   Center of Concern
•   Change to Win
•   Clean Yield Asset Management
•   Coastal Enterprises Inc.
•   Color of Change
•   Common Cause
•   Communications Workers of America
•   Community Development Transportation Lending Services
•   Consumer Action
•   Consumer Association Council
•   Consumers for Auto Safety and Reliability
•   Consumer Federation of America
•   Consumer Watchdog
•   Consumers Union
•   Corporation for Enterprise Development
•   CREDO Mobile
•   CTW Investment Group
•   Demos
•   Economic Policy Institute
•   Essential Action
•   Greenlining Institute
•   Good Business International
•   HNMA Funding Company
•   Home Actions
•   Housing Counseling Services
•   Information Press
•   Institute for Global Communications
•   Institute for Policy Studies: Global Economy Project
•   International Brotherhood of Teamsters
•   Institute of Women’s Policy Research
•   Krull & Company
•   Laborers’ International Union of North America
•   Lake Research Partners
•   Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
•   Move On
•   National Association of Consumer Advocates
•   National Association of Neighborhoods
•   National Community Reinvestment Coalition
•   National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients)
•   National Consumers League
•   National Council of La Raza
•   National Fair Housing Alliance
•   National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions
•   National Housing Trust
•   National Housing Trust Community Development Fund
•   National NeighborWorks Association
•   National Nurses United
•   National People’s Action
•   National Council of Women’s Organizations
•   Next Step
•   OMB Watch
•   Opportunity Finance Network
•   Partners for the Common Good
•   PICO National Network
•   Progress Now Action
•   Progressive States Network
•   Poverty and Race Research Action Council
•   Public Citizen
•   Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law
•   SEIU
•   State Voices
•   Taxpayer’s for Common Sense
•   The Association for Housing and Neighborhood Development
•   The Fuel Savers Club
•   The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
•   The Seminal
•   U.S. Public Interest Research Group
•   United Food and Commercial Workers
•   United States Student Association
•   USAction
•   Veris Wealth Partners
•   Western States Center
•   We the People Now
•   Woodstock Institute
•   World Privacy Forum
•   UNET
•   Union Plus
•   Unitarian Universalist for a Just Economic Community

Backgrounder on the Peters Outsourcing Accountability Amendment:

Outsourcing’s Impact on our Economy

  • Jobs Lost: The Washington Post reports that between 2000 and 2009, multinational corporations cut 2.9 million U.S. jobs while adding 2.4 million overseas.  A study cited by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service estimates that as many as 3.4 million service sector jobs alone could have moved abroad by 2015.  Annual job loss to offshoring has been estimated to be around 300,000, significantly slowing net job creation at a time when we need it most.
  • Jobs at Risk: The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that of 515 distinct occupations, 160 may be susceptible to transfer offshore.  In 2007, there were some 30 million jobs in these 160 offshorable service-providing occupations; they accounted for over one-fifth of total employment in that year.


The Need for Transparency

  • Current SEC Reporting Requirements: Publicly traded companies must disclose certain information in registration statements, prospectuses, and other periodic mandatory filings, including: a general description of the company’s business, a description of the company’s principal products and services, and a description of the company’s subsidiaries.  Companies must also disclose the total number of employees that they have and anticipated changes in the number of employees working in various corporate departments.
  • No Disclosure of Location of Employees: Currently, corporations must disclose their total number of employees, but not where they are based.  Elimination of 700 jobs in the U.S. and the creation of 1,000 jobs abroad would register only as a net gain of 300 jobs.
  • Policymakers: With unemployment above 8% and persistently high unemployment rates predicted in the coming years, policymakers at every level of government must look at all credible options for creating jobs.  Analyzing the effectiveness of past and future job creation policies is difficult without knowing whether corporations benefitting from tax incentives or other policies are creating jobs at home or abroad.
  • Investors: Responsible investors have a right to know how publicly traded corporations are spending their money and whether they are hiring and investing in the U.S. or sending their earnings overseas.  Where companies are hiring or laying off employees could be determinative, material information for potential investors.


New SEC Disclosure Necessary: Where are the jobs?

  • Employees by Country and State: The Outsourcing Accountability Act will add location of employees to annual SEC disclosure requirements.  New reports must disclose the total number of employees in the U.S. broken out by State, as well as the total number of employees abroad broken out by country.  The SEC is given the authority to issue regulations to implement this measure.
  • Change in Employees: The Outsourcing Accountability Act will also require companies to report the percentage increase or decrease in employment numbers corresponding with each state and country. 
  • Helping Consumers Buy American:  As we work to end the recession, consumers should have the right to know whether their hard earned dollars are supporting American jobs or not. Once this information becomes public, companies that employ more American workers than their competitors will have an economic incentive to advertise that they’re supporting American jobs.
  • Common Sense Exemption for Recent Initial Public Offerings: The legislation exempts companies for the first five years after their IPO to avoid increasing compliance burdens on newly-public employers.