As President Trump travels to the state, workers in Wisconsin are facing multiple crises: a painful recession, a global pandemic, and deep racial disparities. And yet at every turn, President Trump has put the interests of the wealthy and well-connected before those of workers and families. Unlike Trump, Biden has a plan to restore America’s middle class and help our economy build back better — and that’s exactly what he’ll do as President.

FACT: President Trump’s main manufacturing and innovation strategy is trickle-down economics that works for corporate executives and Wall Street investors, but not working families. He gave huge tax cuts to the largest multinationals with no requirement that they invest in the United States or favor U.S. jobs over offshoring. 

  • President Trump chooses multinational corporate interests over American workers again and again. He promised a major infrastructure plan and policies to end outsourcing and bring jobs back to the United States. Instead, he created a tax loophole that actually rewards companies for shipping jobs and profits overseas. While Trump talks about Buy American on Twitter and TV, he’s allowed companies receiving federal contracts – paid for with taxpayer dollars – to offshore at higher rates.

Biden will close the Trump offshoring loophole and create the Biden Offshoring Penalty. He will go farther by creating a Made in America Tax Credit that benefits those who bring back jobs and expand manufacturing jobs and wages on our shores.

  • Create a Made in America Tax Credit that benefits those who bring back jobs and expand manufacturing jobs and wages on our shores. Biden’s Made in America Tax Credit will reward those who want to revitalize a closed factory or retool an existing one to ensure we are creating jobs and a Future is Made in America.
  • Establish a 10% Offshoring Penalty surtax, on profits of any production by a United States company overseas for sales back to the United States, on top of a 28% corporate tax rate. Companies will pay a 30.8% tax rate on any such profits.
FACT: In 2016, President Trump promised that he would “stop the jobs from leaving Wisconsin” and that “we’re going to bring back your jobs” — after four years, the numbers show he failed to do either.
  • Under Trump, manufacturing went into recession in 2019 – before COVID-19 hit. And now, the manufacturing industry is feeling the weight of Donald Trump’s failure to lead an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have closed or laid off employees. To name a few:
    • Pereles Brothers, a plastics manufacturer, recently announced layoffs for 49 workers in Milwaukee — citing decreased demand due to customers’ offshoring. Wisconsin manufacturers are struggling to make it under Donald Trump. In July, Harley Davidson announced the elimination of 700 jobs and small engine manufacturer Briggs & Stratton filed for bankruptcy and plans to sell its assets.
    • A paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids laid off its 900 employees, impacting workers and communities along the supply chain.
    • In southeast Wisconsin, Helgesen Industries recently announced layoffs of 102 Washington County workers and Wacker Neuson announced 186 layoffs at their Menomonee Falls facility.
  • As of July, 202,000 fewer workers are employed in Wisconsin than when Donald Trump took office in January 2017, including 11,000 fewer manufacturing workers.

Biden will create millions of jobs in American manufacturing and innovation by mobilizing the talent, grit, and innovation of the American people and the full power of the federal government to bolster American industrial strength and ensure the future is “Made in All of America.”

  • Strengthen and enforce Buy American. In his first week in office, Biden will sign executive actions to strengthen Buy American where Trump has failed,  so that the massive amount of taxpayer money the federal government spends every year on everything from defense equipment to steel to auto fleets is used to help American manufacturers and their workers. And he’ll invest $400 billion more in buying American made goods to build a clean energy future.
  • Invest in sustainable infrastructure and require materials to be sourced in the United States.
  • Innovate in America. Biden will make a new $300 billion investment in research and development (R&D) and breakthrough technologies – from electric vehicle technology to lightweight materials to 5G – to unleash high-quality job creation in manufacturing and technology.
  • Bring back critical supply chains to America so we aren’t dependent on China or any other country for the production of critical goods in a crisis.

FACT: President Trump has pursued a trade strategy that prioritizes access for big multinational banks to China’s market but has done next to nothing to curb Chinese government trade abuses that hurt U.S. workers.

  • Donald Trump’s devastating trade policies have closed hard-earned markets and, according to some estimates, cost Wisconsinites more than $825 million in additional taxes–and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic further crushed the economy.
  • Despite grand promises, under Donald Trump’s watch and through his erratic trade agenda, Wisconsin’s trade deficit has ballooned–from $1.36 billion in 2016 during the Obama-Biden Administration to $6.77 billion in 2019.
  • From 2018-2019, in the height of the trade war, mass layoffs in Wisconsin jumped 25% over 2016-2017 levels, to 18,949 workers.

As President, Biden will pursue a pro-American worker tax and trade strategy to fix the harmful policies of the Trump Administration and give our manufacturers and workers the fair shot they need. Biden believes workers can out-compete anyone, but their government needs to fight for them. To stand up for American workers, Biden’s tax and trade strategy will take a number of steps, including.

  • Ensure the goal of every decision about trade is to build the American middle class, create jobs, raise wages, and strengthen communities.
  • Take aggressive trade enforcement actions against China or any other country seeking to undercut American manufacturing through unfair practices, including currency manipulation, anti-competitive dumping, state-owned company abuses, or unfair subsidies.
  • Establish a “claw-back” provision to force a company to return public investments and tax benefits when they close down jobs here and send them overseas.
  • Support strong and independent trade unions here in the United States and in every one of our trading partners. Unions are essential to democracy, unions are essential to economic stability, unions are essential for building markets for American products, and unions are the right thing to do — everywhere in the world. Biden will enforce existing labor provisions and aggressively push for strong and enforceable labor provisions in any trade deal his administration negotiates — and not sign a deal unless it has those provisions.

FACT: President Trump’s anti-worker policies and mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic has devastated many working families. 

  • By abandoning the Obama-Biden overtime expansion, Trump has already cost Wisconsin workers $75 million in lost wages.
  • The Wisconsin Department of Revenue forecasts that wages will fall 4.2% in the state in 2020 (compared to 3.5% nationwide) and that private employment will decline 7.8% in 2020 (and grow back just 4.8% in 2021).
  • These projections come as Wisconsin families are struggling to make ends meet and Trump and Republicans have allowed federal benefits to expire. In July, nearly 1 in 12 Wisconsin households reported not having enough food to eat and nearly 1 in 8 of all renters in Wisconsin reported being behind on rent.

Biden will get the virus under control, and he will treat American workers and working families as essential at all times, not just times of crisis – with higher wages, stronger benefits, and fair and safe workplaces, so they can live a middle class life and provide opportunity for their kids. And, he will strengthen unions and worker power.

  • Encourage, not only defend, union organizing and collective bargaining. Biden will send economic recovery legislation to Congress that will make it easier for workers to organize a union and bargain collectively with their employers by including the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, card check, union and bargaining rights for public service workers, and a broad definition of “employee” and tough enforcement to end the misclassification of workers as independent contractors.
  • Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and end the tipped minimum wage and sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities.
  • Ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable health care, by providing a public option and lowering costs for care and for prescription drugs.
  • Ensure workers are safe from COVID-19 and other workplace hazards by setting and enforcing robust safety standards. No one should get sick, injured, or die because they went to work.
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