(Washington) -- Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne wants accountability from companies sending jobs overseas.
The West Des Moines Democrat recently introduced the Outsourcing Accountability Act. Axne's proposed legislation seeks to curb the practice of outsourcing American jobs by requiring publicly-traded companies to disclose in their annual report information on where employees are located by state and country. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program, Axne says the bill would force companies to be honest about outsourcing jobs to other countries.
"I think we can see our economy is much more interconnected with the rest of the world today," said Axne. "The issue with that is that American workers are constantly at risk of losing their jobs to lower paid workers overseas. Right now, we have a lack of information about how many jobs we've lost to outsourcing--and it is a big problem. So, this is a bill that's a step closer to getting that information."
Axne proposed the bill in the wake of Wells Fargo's outsourcing of 400 jobs from its Des Moines headquarters to India.
"When I questioned the (Wells Fargo) CEO at the time, Tim Sloan, if those jobs were moved overseas, he said no," she said. "But, we heard from dozens of Wells Fargo current and former employees who told us they literally had to train replacements in India for their jobs."
The congresswoman says it's baffling that companies aren't required to provide such information already.
"Businesses pay people on a regular basis," she said. "They know where exactly they're located. This is an easy report to produce. It will Americans to understand which companies are supporting the creation of American jobs, and not outsourcing them. So, it's not only good for supporters, it's good for consumers who want to support companies who are creating jobs in America, and not outsourcing them."
Additionally, the bill would provide workers with access to the Trade Adjustment Assistance--or TAA program. Among other things, the program provides American workers with support and training if they can certify they were laid off due to outsourcing.
"What happens is, when somebody is outsourced, they receive what's called trade adjustment assistance," said the congresswoman. "When they're laid off, they don't. But, if the job is outsourced, they can get this assistance. And, that assistance provides support and training to get new jobs. So, it gives them a leg up on another opportunity."
You can hear the full interview with Cindy Axne on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.