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Outsourcers helping outsourcers: Did Rep. Braun vote against Carrier amendment to protect his own ability to ship jobs overseas?

Rep. Braun voted against Carrier “clawback” amendment while receiving similar Indiana tax breaks to the outsourcing company, even though he was profiting from Chinese labor

INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Braun’s support for outsourcing goes beyond his company’s reliance on Chinese labor and includes a Statehouse vote against a popular, bipartisan amendment to strip tax credits from companies who outsource, potentially because his own business might lose those same tax credits if it outsourced more jobs itself.

Coverage of Rep. Braun’s campaign has recently been dominated by his company’s profits from making and selling Chinese auto parts. But during his time at the Statehouse, Rep. Braun achieved notoriety when he broke with many of his Republican colleagues in the wake of Carrier’s 2016 decision to ship jobs to Mexico. Rep. Braun opposed an overwhelmingly popular “clawback” amendment that would have allowed the state to take back tax credits or incentives from Carrier and other companies who received state funds and then shipped jobs elsewhere.

At the time of that vote, Rep. Braun’s company was also receiving Indiana Economic Development Corporation incentives – similar to what Carrier had received – in exchange for Rep. Braun’s promise to create good-paying jobs at his headquarters in Jasper. Had the “clawback” amendment ultimately become law, Rep. Braun would have had to forfeit his IEDC funding in the event he followed Carrier’s lead and moved the jobs in Jasper overseas.

While no public plans have ever circulated for Rep. Braun to shutter his Jasper facilities, his use of foreign labor has come to the forefront. As the AP reported, Rep. Braun’s own company manufactures and sells auto parts made with Chinese labor, and 30% of his suppliers are either foreign headquartered or manufacture parts in foreign countries. Meanwhile, one of the biggest suppliers for Rep. Braun’s company’s own line of auto parts began to lay off over 200 American workers and send their jobs to China and Taiwan the same year Rep. Braun began to work with them.

“Did Rep. Braun vote against the Carrier ‘clawback’ amendment because he simply didn’t care about thousands of Hoosier workers whose jobs were shipped to Mexico, or was there something more nefarious at play? After all, despite receiving IEDC funding from Hoosier taxpayers because he said he’d create jobs here, he chose to make his auto parts in China, while Indiana factories making the same parts shut down,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “With no ‘clawback’ protections in place, the employees at his Jasper HQ could be next to go if his outsourcing urge doesn’t die down.”

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