Here’s a good one for you. If you guessed that it’s another instance of political hypocrisy, you’d be right.
A recent report from the Associated Press revealed that a business owned by Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana outsources manufacturing jobs to Mexico, yet he has repeatedly condemned the practice of outsourcing jobs to foreign nations — it’s one of the issues he has been the most outspoken about.
Donnelly is part owner of Stewart Superior, which is a family-owned business that sells ink, ink pads, rubber stamps, and other products. It has multiple offices in the United States and at least one in Mexico. Before he was elected in 2006, he served as a corporate officer and general counsel in the company. He owns about $50,000 in stock and earned between $15,001 and $50,000 in dividends in 2016. So how do Donnelly’s business interests conflict with his political platform?
The report states that Stewart Superior Corp and its subsidiaries have shipped a significant amount of raw materials to one of its factories in Mexico. The facility makes ink pads and other products which are shipped back to the United States. The company has been engaging in this practice for over a year. They are taking advantage of low-paying labor to produce their products. The company is taking jobs that American workers could fill, and giving them to foreign workers — which is exactly the type of practice that Donnelly has spoken against.
In 2016, Donald Trump and Mike Pence made the issue of workers losing their jobs one of the central components of their campaign. They focused on Carrier, an air conditioning manufacturer who had planned to move 2,000 jobs to Mexico. Senator Donnelly joined Trump in criticizing the company’s decision calling them “the ultimate free rider.” He also said:
“What they do because of the trade agreement NAFTA, is they ship jobs to Mexico for $3 an hour, and so they get the benefit of the absolute lowest wages they can find, and then turn around to ship the products back into the United States.”
If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is. In 2004, Donnelly stated that outsourcing is “a fancy term for ‘someone in Indiana has just lost their job.” While the senator is bashing other companies that outsource their operations, he still owns part of a company who engages in the same type of behavior.
Currently, the senator is sponsoring a bill that would require companies to disclose the jobs they have outsourced to foreign nations. It would also remove tax benefits and economic incentives to these businesses. Additionally, it would require the federal government to look at a company’s outsourcing practices when awarding contracts.
While this is not a national issue, it is something of which Indiana residents will take note. This report will not help him in his re-election bid. Alejandro Ruelas-Gossi, an expert on Latin-American trade, stated that the senator’s ownership in the company is “hypocrisy.”
He said: “What you are creating is poverty, because the jobs they are creating are very poor jobs. You have very poor salaries. You have poor quality of life. It’s not good for America and it’s not good for Mexico” (via PJ Media).
This is nothing short of major hypocrisy and a bad deal for America all rolled into one. Should Indiana voters bring Sen. Donnelly home from Washington? Let everyone know in the poll below!
Senator Donnelly’s position in the U.S. Senate is already vulnerable because he is running in a state where President Trump won 57% of the vote. Republican representatives have already indicated that they are interested in running for his seat. This scandal will make the road ahead even harder for Donnelly. While the senator has stated that he now plans to sell his stake in Stewart Superior Corp, many voters might believe this is too little, too late.