Politicians in Washington D.C. love to talk about job creation in the USA. They say they support American manufacturing, and oppose the outsourcing of jobs to foreign sweatshops.
Talk is cheap. When they think we’re not looking, these same politicians present legislation that discourages the regrowth of American manufacturing.
Take, as an example, Senator Patrick Leahy. Leahy talks big about protecting American jobs from outsourcing. Not too long ago, Leahy gave a speech, declaring, “For the past two decades our country has witnessed a disturbing trend towards outsourcing American jobs abroad. What began as a way for domestic manufacturers to cut labor costs has blown into a full-fledged sprint by some U.S. manufacturing and service companies to move as much production offshore as possible.”
Senator Leahy was singing a different tune yesterday, though. Yesterday, Leahy introduced legislation that will, if passed, protect exemptions from reasonable import fees for foreign-made ski boots.
There used to be a lot of ski boots made in the USA. Not so anymore. Now, thanks to foreign competition that uses abusive, dangerous and environmentally toxic conditions to cut costs, most ski boots are made outside of America. There’s only one ski boot manufacturer left in the USA that I could find: Dale Boot, which manufactures high-end custom made ski boots.
It’s tough for anyone to set up a ski boot manufacturing business in the USA, when existing ski boot companies cut costs by compromising their ethics in factories operated in countries where autocratic rulers keep workers in submission to their bosses. With S. 2302, “A bill to extend the temporary suspension of duty on certain ski boots, cross country ski footwear, and snowboard boots.” Senator Leahy is helping to preserve impediments to the creation of American manufacturing jobs in ski boot factories here in the USA.
It’s not as if Senator Leahy’s suspension of import fees on foreign-made ski boots is helping the working people of America. Most working Americans don’t have the time or extra money to spend on ski vacations in the mountains of Vermont anyway. Leahy is doing a favor for the executives and well-off shareholders of corporations that squeeze their profits from sweatshop labor. It’s legislation for the One Percent, and their posh hot tubbing leisure at the lodge.