Let’s Bring Our Jobs Home

by Secretary Hilda Solis on July 19, 2012 · 9 comments

The following blog is a cross-post from The Grand Rapids Press

Secretary Solis Tours Falcon Waterfree Technologies

Secretary Solis Tours Falcon Waterfree Technologies

Most Michiganders are familiar with one of the major challenges of our global economy: preserving good manufacturing jobs here at home at a time when some companies are tempted to outsource production abroad.

Today, however, I visited a manufacturing plant operated by an American company that is helping to pioneer a new trend of bringing good jobs back home. We call this “in-sourcing.”

Falcon Waterfree Technologies is a clean energy company with a global footprint. But effective this month, it will begin making product components previously made in Shanghai in Grand Rapids as Michigan becomes the company’s manufacturing hub for the entire Western Hemisphere.

If Congress embraces President Obama’s plan, we will see a lot more of this in-sourcing in America’s future.

As the nation’s Secretary of Labor, I work in an administration whose policies have helped add back more than a half-million U.S. manufacturing jobs since January 2010. This represents the sector’s strongest job growth in 17 years. President Obama and I believe we can accelerate this growth by reforming our tax code.

When I travel around the Midwest and tell workers about how our current federal tax policies actually reward companies that ship our jobs away, the reaction I hear most often is disbelief.

When I tell workers that President Obama has been trying to fix this inequity but can’t find bipartisan support in Congress to do so, that disbelief quickly turns to anger.

But it’s true. And now is the time to fix it.

Don’t get me wrong. Companies that want to outsource jobs have a right to do so, but they shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it. 

As countries grow and develop middle classes of their own, global companies are going to pursue those markets, employ their workers and make investments all over the world. But right now, as our economy recovers, we have a unique opportunity to bring some of our good manufacturing jobs back.

International shipping costs and foreign labor costs are currently on the rise. Therefore, it’s getting more expensive for companies to house their production facilities halfway around the world and then ship their products back across the ocean for U.S. consumers to buy.

Plus, American workers have never been more productive, so even when we can’t make products cheaper than the Chinese can, we sure can make them better.

Right now, companies that off-shore can deduct their moving expenses and significantly reduce their tax burden to Uncle Sam. The result is fewer jobs here at home and less revenue to pay down our national debt.

I’ll give you an example: Say a company decides to shutter a factory here in Michigan and move it overseas. This might require them to break down assembly lines and production equipment and transport it abroad. If this process costs the firm $15 million, the company can write off moving expenses totaling $5.25 million.

Under President Obama’s proposal, companies would no longer be able to write off a penny of their moving costs for sending American jobs to other countries.

Instead, we want to provide incentives for companies like Falcon that choose to in-source jobs—and pay for those incentives by eliminating the very tax breaks that now reward companies for outsourcing abroad.

This administration is betting on the “made in the USA” label. We don’t believe that providing special tax benefits for off-shoring will somehow trickle down and help American job-seekers.

We have the best-trained, most capable workers in the world. It’s time for our political leaders to reward companies like Falcon that are committed to helping the next generation of manufacturing jobs take root in the United States.

Solis is the U.S. Secretary of Labor.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gregg S July 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Ms Solis your correct we need to bring them home.I hope and pray intime for people like me are getting desparate for work.

Gregg
PROUD NAVY DAD

2 Alice July 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Great article Hilda!
Outsourcing is an interesting topic and I agree with you that it’s little miss handled at the moment here in the states. The best part is that we often outsource plenty of jobs that US residents would gladly do even for pennies. Just look how popular Amazon’s MTurk is and it literately pays pennies. Many Americans are trying to make money where ever they can, this includes online.

3 Margaret Anderson July 19, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Yes!! I’m so glad to finally see this news. Keep it coming! We have a lot of trade and tax laws that need changing to benefit the economy and the working class of this nation.

4 Scarsdale Diet July 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

We need to bring so many jobs home that are overseas, and it is nice to see that Falcon Waterfree Tech is doing just that. Though the international labor rate is increasing, there are issues of the labor costs being so low. For instance, many in India work for approximately $60 a month, with no benefits at all. I am not exactly sure of a good solution for this issue, except it would be interesting if the government could impose some type of tax or tariff put on corporations on the difference of their international labor vs. minimum wage. That may encourage a corporation to start bringing some jobs back here. But like I said, I don’t exactly know the solution. I do know that at one time “made in America” really meant something. I hope we can get there again.

5 Albert Santos August 1, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Dear Ms. Secretary,
I feel this is a bit ironic. For the last three years Falcon Waterfree LLC sold its goods through GSA claiming that they are made in the US and thus ARRA compliant. All their products featured the ARRA mark even so they were sourced from China and Malaysia. Only after Falcon got caught by a federal customer repacking China-made cartridges into boxes labelled “Made in USA” GSA started an investigation and demanded Falcon to comply with the ARRA regulations and move production to the US.

6 Mollie September 22, 2012 at 1:58 am

Im very proud to see companies like falcon keeping jobs and resources not only in the US, but in Michigan!

7 oDesk Trainer April 25, 2013 at 9:53 am

That is really fantastic post for people. A lot of individuals would love the prospect to do jobs from house, however beginning their own businesses from scratch could be a massive challenge with equally massive risks. Although real success in this venture can bring extra money than a daily employee’s remuneration, there is no denial that the way to that much cherished success can be relatively a roller coaster ride.

8 Nade - Synergy Auto Transport May 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm

We are doing our best to make our country proud and continue to employ several people at our company. Completely agree on having to use most of our country’s wealth which is our knowledge, work motivation and all the hard working men and women who do their jobs and do them proudly. Keep it coming!

9 Nancy McDuff March 28, 2014 at 12:44 pm

My company has been trying for over three years to obtain a loan/grant for our corporation to bring manufacturing INTO the US market from our Switzerland manufacturing plant and provides jobs to disabled Veterans and locals. We are trying to improve the economy by supporting our country and they seem to be fighting us at every turn. We have invested over $300K of our own money into this project and have built up a substantial clientele despite the refusal of government and banking aid. Our main mission is hire and manufacture in the USA. Our main obstacles have been the US banking industry and the US government who both swear that they are doing everything to make these exact things happen. I would like to appeal to the government of our land to help support our country, our troops, our families, our American jobs and send aid to the very people/companies that are trying to do encompass all of these goals for a solidity of support for our nation. No one wants more economic growth then the people of this country and our government and banking industry need to support these endeavors instead of making it impossible for the economy to prosper and grow. Thank you for this forum. I would love for someone to contact me on any support this administration is willing to lend to achieve the above listed goals of one manufacturer trying to make a difference in a community that so desperately needs the support.
Sincerely,
Nancy McDuff

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