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Is Your Member of Congress Rewarding Corporations that Move Production Out of the U.S.?

As years pass, corporations have been cutting more and more manufacturing jobs in America and shipping those jobs halfway around the world to factories in Asia, which then ship their products back to the United States for sale. There’s nothing wrong in the abstract with people in Asia having jobs — it’s when we get concrete that matters get iffy. Think about it for a moment — practically speaking, how could it possibly make sense for an American manufacturer to ship its production of goods meant for American consumption all the way over to the Pacific? It costs a whole lot of money to transfer production to Asia and then ship products all the way back across the Pacific Ocean for to be bought back in the United States; the only way that such a decision could make economic sense is if those factories have far, far lower “labor costs” (they pay their workers a pittance) or “environmental costs” (they can get away with polluting the local environment). Moving production out of the United States isn’t good for American workers and it commonly results in the exploitation of workers and the poisoning of communities overseas.

For some time, import duties have been one part of American trade law that counters this corrosive trend. Fees collected for the importation of products from overseas corporate factories increase the cost of exploiting workers overseas and dumping American jobs — and at the same time import duties help fund various U.S. government programs. Curiously, however, in the most recently completed 112th Congress a whopping 2,162 bills were introduced having to do with import duties; 1,917 of these bills proposed suspending, cutting back or eliminating these duties for various products. This category of bill was the most common kind of bill introduced in the 112th Congress.

Who are the members of Congress that have been submitting so many of these bills? It’s not everyone in Congress, not by far, but the numbers of sponsors may include names you wouldn’t expect.

31.3% of Democrats in the House of Representatives (60 out of the 192 Democratic members) and 34.6% of Republicans in the House (84 out of the 243 members) sponsored legislation to suspend or rescind duties for products imported from overseas factories during the years 2011-2012. In the Senate, matters were much more lopsided; only 4 of the 43 Senate Republicans sponsored such legislation while 32 of the 51 Senate Democrats did. Looking at the number of bills to cut import duties that were introduced, Democrats were the sponsors of 1,222 while Republicans were the sponsors of 678 (Independent Joe Lieberman sponsored 17). This mismatch occurred because a few members of Congress were responsible for a large number of the bills, and a large number of them were Democrats. The top ten sponsors of bills to slash import duties in the 112th Congress were:

Senator # of Bills Sponsored
#1. Sen. Casey, Robert(D) 133
#2. Sen. Menendez, Robert (D) 104
#3. Sen. Hagan, Kay (D) 84
#4. Sen. Schumer, Charles (D) 63
#5. Sen. Brown, Sherrod (D) 46
#6. Sen. Feinstein, Dianne (D) 31
#7. Sen. Kerry, John (D) 29
#8. Sen. Klobuchar, Amy (D) 28
#9. Sen. Levin, Carl (D) 25
#10. Sen. Pryor, Mark (D) 21
Representative # of Bills Sponsored
#1. Rep. Watt, Melvin L. (D) 57
#2. Rep. Mulvaney, Mick (R) 35
#3. Rep. Burton, Dan (R) 29
#4. Rep. Gerlach, Jim (R) 29
#5. Rep. Bonner, Jo (R) 28
#6. Rep. Huelskamp, Tim (R) 26
#7. Rep. Scott, Tim (R) 26
#8. Rep. Murphy, Tim (R) 25
#9. Rep. Ross, Mike (D) 24
#10. Rep. Clay, Wm. Lacy (D) 23

Political party isn’t the only marker of support for these bills. Representatives in just three states — North Carolina, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — sponsored a full third of these bills.

The full list of the members of the 112th Congress who introduced bills to cut import duties is included below, organized by party, chamber and name and including counts of duty-cutting bills. Is your member of Congress on the list? Take a look and found out.

Democrats in Congress # of import-duty cutting bills sponsored
Rep. Altmire, Jason 9
Rep. Andrews, Robert E. 18
Rep. Berman, Howard L. 3
Rep. Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. 20
Rep. Blumenauer, Earl 12
Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne 5
Rep. Braley, Bruce L. 1
Rep. Butterfield, G. K. 3
Rep. Capps, Lois 2
Rep. Carnahan, Russ 12
Rep. Carney, John C., Jr. 22
Rep. Clarke, Hansen 10
Rep. Clay, Wm. Lacy 23
Rep. Cleaver, Emanuel 12
Rep. Clyburn, James E. 5
Rep. Cohen, Steve 2
Rep. Costa, Jim 13
Rep. Costello, Jerry F. 4
Rep. Courtney, Joe 16
Rep. Davis, Danny K. 1
Rep. DeLauro, Rosa L. 3
Rep. Deutch, Theodore E. 2
Rep. Dingell, John D. 2
Rep. Doyle, Michael F. 2
Rep. Ellison, Keith 21
Rep. Frank, Barney 11
Rep. Fudge, Marcia L. 11
Rep. Green, Gene 8
Rep. Higgins, Brian 2
Rep. Himes, James A. 10
Rep. Hochul, Kathleen C. 5
Rep. Holt, Rush 7
Rep. Honda, Michael M. 20
Rep. Israel, Steve 17
Rep. Kissell, Larry 10
Rep. Lewis, John 2
Rep. Loebsack, David 1
Rep. Maloney, Carolyn B. 17
Rep. Markey, Edward J. 2
Rep. McDermott, Jim 3
Rep. Murphy, Christopher S. 2
Rep. Neal, Richard E. 8
Rep. Owens, William L. 4
Rep. Pascrell, Bill, Jr. 12
Rep. Pingree, Chellie 2
Rep. Polis, Jared 6
Rep. Price, David E. 6
Rep. Rangel, Charles B. 2
Rep. Richardson, Laura 1
Rep. Ross, Mike 24
Rep. Rothman, Steven R. 7
Rep. Ruppersberger, C. A. Dutch 7
Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. 5
Rep. Schwartz, Allyson Y. 2
Rep. Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” 20
Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh 1
Rep. Towns, Edolphus 1
Rep. Waters, Maxine 4
Rep. Watt, Melvin L. 57
Rep. Yarmuth, John A. 1
Sen. Baucus, Max 17
Sen. Blumenthal, Richard 8
Sen. Brown, Sherrod 46
Sen. Cantwell, Maria 9
Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. 8
Sen. Carper, Thomas R. 12
Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. 133
Sen. Conrad, Kent 3
Sen. Coons, Christopher A. 14
Sen. Feinstein, Dianne 31
Sen. Hagan, Kay 84
Sen. Harkin, Tom 5
Sen. Kerry, John F. 29
Sen. Klobuchar, Amy 28
Sen. Kohl, Herb 2
Sen. Landrieu, Mary L. 11
Sen. Lautenberg, Frank R. 6
Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. 1
Sen. Levin, Carl 25
Sen. Manchin, Joe, III 4
Sen. McCaskill, Claire 4
Sen. Menendez, Robert 104
Sen. Merkley, Jeff 1
Sen. Murray, Patty 6
Sen. Nelson, Bill 1
Sen. Pryor, Mark L. 21
Sen. Reid, Harry 4
Sen. Rockefeller, John D., IV 4
Sen. Schumer, Charles E. 63
Sen. Shaheen, Jeanne 1
Sen. Udall, Tom 1
Sen. Wyden, Ron 15


Republicans in Congress # of import-duty cutting bills sponsored
Rep. Aderholt, Robert B. 3
Rep. Barletta, Lou 1
Rep. Benishek, Dan 5
Rep. Biggert, Judy 9
Rep. Bilbray, Brian P. 3
Rep. Blackburn, Marsha 1
Rep. Bonner, Jo 28
Rep. Buerkle, Ann Marie 4
Rep. Burton, Dan 29
Rep. Camp, Dave 1
Rep. Campbell, John 3
Rep. Canseco, Francisco “Quico” 1
Rep. Cantor, Eric 3
Rep. Capito, Shelley Moore 14
Rep. Carter, John R. 1
Rep. Cassidy, Bill 7
Rep. Coble, Howard 23
Rep. Coffman, Mike 2
Rep. Davis, Geoff 6
Rep. Dent, Charles W. 8
Rep. Dold, Robert J. 20
Rep. Duncan, Jeff 5
Rep. Ellmers, Renee L. 7
Rep. Fitzpatrick, Michael G. 12
Rep. Frelinghuysen, Rodney P. 9
Rep. Gerlach, Jim 29
Rep. Gosar, Paul A. 6
Rep. Graves, Sam 11
Rep. Grimm, Michael G. 1
Rep. Guinta, Frank C. 1
Rep. Guthrie, Brett 9
Rep. Hanna, Richard L. 3
Rep. Harris, Andy 4
Rep. Hastings, Doc 1
Rep. Herger, Wally 1
Rep. Huelskamp, Tim 26
Rep. Huizenga, Bill 5
Rep. Hultgren, Randy 5
Rep. Jenkins, Lynn 4
Rep. Johnson, Sam 13
Rep. Johnson, Timothy V. 5
Rep. Jones, Walter B., Jr. 12
Rep. Kelly, Mike 1
Rep. King, Peter T. 1
Rep. King, Steve 1
Rep. Kinzinger, Adam 6
Rep. Lankford, James 1
Rep. Latham, Tom 3
Rep. LaTourette, Steven C. 15
Rep. Long, Billy 1
Rep. Luetkemeyer, Blaine 23
Rep. Lummis, Cynthia M. 3
Rep. Manzullo, Donald A. 2
Rep. Marino, Tom 7
Rep. McKeon, Howard P. “Buck” 5
Rep. Meehan, Patrick 9
Rep. Mulvaney, Mick 35
Rep. Murphy, Tim 25
Rep. Myrick, Sue Wilkins 20
Rep. Neugebauer, Randy 3
Rep. Nunes, Devin 3
Rep. Nunnelee, Alan 4
Rep. Olson, Pete 6
Rep. Paul, Ron 3
Rep. Paulsen, Erik 13
Rep. Petri, Thomas E. 3
Rep. Pitts, Joseph R. 1
Rep. Reed, Tom 22
Rep. Reichert, David G. 2
Rep. Roe, David P. 16
Rep. Runyan, Jon 2
Rep. Schmidt, Jean 6
Rep. Schock, Aaron 8
Rep. Scott, Tim 26
Rep. Sessions, Pete 6
Rep. Shimkus, John 1
Rep. Smith, Adrian 3
Rep. Smith, Lamar 1
Rep. Stivers, Steve 4
Rep. Thompson, Glenn 1
Rep. Walberg, Tim 7
Rep. Whitfield, Ed 1
Rep. Wilson, Joe 18
Rep. Young, Todd C. 14
Sen. Collins, Susan M. 2
Sen. DeMint, Jim 1
Sen. Inhofe, James M. 1
Sen. McCain, John 1

One thought on “Is Your Member of Congress Rewarding Corporations that Move Production Out of the U.S.?”

  1. Tom says:

    My shills here in PA are too busy givin’ it away to the corporate sector to do anything about fracking or the environment. Total disappointments, all of them.

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