The American saga against free trade continues, and this time it isn’t coming from the mouth of President-elect Donald Trump.
The perpetrator is none other liberal darling Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who led a surprisingly adept run for the Democratic presidential nomination, nearly getting the nomination. His campaign was a sounding board for making college affordable, redistributing wealth in America and expressing incredibly asinine liberal fears of free trade.
Now, as Sanders returns to his senate post for another year, he plans on keeping at least one of his promises — restricting free trade. He plans on introducing a piece of legislation titled the Outsourcing Prevention Act, which would attempt to legally tie Trump to repeated campaign promises to prevent Fortune 500 countries from outsourcing jobs.
Let’s talk about outsourcing.
Outsourcing is when a company moves from one place to another. If a company moves its factory from Seattle to New York City, guess what, they just outsourced those jobs to a different city. If a company moves its factory from Washington to New York, guess what, they just outsourced their jobs to a different state. If a company automates their production line, then they’ve outsourced their jobs by essentially deleting them.
What Sanders — based upon his rhetoric not what he is actually crafting in this legislation — wants to prevent is offshoring, when a company moves from one country to another.
Truly, though, this legislation is drafted to keep one company from outsourcing — United Technology, which is a billion-dollar technology firm receiving numerous government contracts. Sanders wants to strip all government contracts away from companies who “outsource overseas” and to prevent companies that outsource jobs from receiving federal tax breaks.
Tax breaks are meant to incentivize certain behaviors, so if Sanders were to take away these tax breaks from a company who offshores 51 or more jobs, what happens to the rest of the workers remaining from that company in the U.S.? Taking away these tax breaks would just cause further layoffs in America.
If this is the type of policy a President Sanders would have endorsed, we got lucky that he never got the chance to be elected.
Aaron Reilly (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a sophomore majoring in social work and economics.