In response to recent report that found federal contractors are rewarded with American taxpayer money while shipping jobs overseas for cheaper labor, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Dick Durbin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jeff Merkley, and Sheldon Whitehouse sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to sign an executive order preventing government contractors from offshoring jobs. Instead of facing resistance against the Republican party, Sanders and his colleagues contacted the president directly due to recent positive publicity concerning Trump’s willingness to work with Democrats.
“You made a promise that you would prevent American jobs from being shipped overseas,” the Democratic Senators wrote in a letter to Trump. “That promise has not been kept. But it goes beyond that. Not only are companies shipping jobs overseas, the American people are paying them to do it.”
According to a recent study by Good Jobs Nation and Public Citizen, fifty-six percent of the top 50 U.S. firms awarded the largest taxpayer-funded contracts in 2016 engage in offshoring. The report opens with a quote from Trump on November 4, 2016, saying, “A Trump administration will stop the jobs from leaving America.”
“A recent report shows that in 2016, $176 billion went to 41 top federal contractors who have all offshored American jobs,” Sanders continued. “The American taxpayer is paying companies to ship jobs overseas. This report shows that the 100 top commercial contractors have shipped 58,913 American jobs abroad and that your administration continues to award contracts to major offshoring corporations like United Technologies and General Electric.
“This is unacceptable. We need to send a very loud and very clear message to corporate America: the era of outsourcing is over. Instead of offshoring jobs, the time has come for you to start bringing good-paying jobs back to the United States of America.”
But according to a Washington Post investigation, many of the products sold by Trump and his daughter Ivanka are made overseas. During MSNBC Live this summer, Stephanie Ruhle pointed out that Trump Tower continues to sell many products made in Bangladesh, China, Nicaragua, and Thailand. Instead of selling any products made in America, Ivanka Trump’s clothing line sells products manufactured in Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam in order to cut costs by exploiting foreign cheap labor.
“You do not need Congress to fix this,” Sanders and his colleagues concluded. “If you are serious about ending offshoring and helping the American worker, you will issue an executive order ending government contracts for companies that offshore American jobs.”
Up against a Republican majority in the Senate, Sanders and his colleagues decided to go over their opponents’ heads by urging the president to issue an executive order preventing federal contractors from sending jobs overseas for cheaper labor. Despite the fact that Trump has repeatedly promised to keep jobs within the U.S., his own company has abused labor laws for decades and continues to make products overseas.