Tag Archives: global trade

At least 11,331 Wisconsin jobs went overseas in last 5 years

Federal data reveals the economic wreckage caused by the large-scale outsourcing of Wisconsin jobs since Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson took office. They’ve aided and abetted multinational corporations in selling out Wisconsin workers for short term profits.

Data kept by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that at least 11,331 Wisconsin jobs have been outsourced to other countries since Walker’s scandal-ridden “jobs” agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, was launched July 1, 2011. This is a very low-end estimate of the impact of outsourcing in Wisconsin, because it only accounts for groups of workers who successfully applied for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the federal government by proving their jobs were eliminated because of global trade agreements. It does not account for outsourcing to other states or downsizing. In those cases, it’s not possible to prove jobs went to a foreign country or were impacted by global trade deals.

Walker and Johnson have consistently supported a rigged economic system that allows multinational corporations to pit Wisconsin workers against low-wage foreign workers.

Walker’s WEDC has consistently refused to hold accountable the corporations that take public job creation dollars and then outsource Wisconsin jobs. The WEDC board has refused to require corporations receiving public dollars to create a net positive number of jobs (i.e. not to outsource and downsize more jobs than they are paid to create).

Recently a Citizen Action of Wisconsin open records request found that WEDC is not enforcing its own 30 day notice policy for outsourcing and downsizing. Senator Dave Hansen and Reps. Andy Jorgensen and Debra Kolste introduced a bill that would have banned corporations who outsource from receiving state economic aid for five years. But it was voted down by the conservative majorities in both chambers.

While Walker has aided and abetted outsourcing through state government,  Johnson has done nothing to challenge unfair trade deals that rig the economy against Wisconsin workers. This is not surprising, given that during his election campaign in 2010 Johnson touted global trade deals like NAFTA as “creative destruction.” Johnson touts his manufacturing credentials, but seems oblivious to the impact of outsourcing on manufacturing workers across the state.

“The continuing toll of outsourcing in Wisconsin is not a natural disaster; it is human made. Accountability is coming to all the politicians who are aiding and abetting the outsourcing of their constituents’ jobs,” said Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The public is on to the fact that the political and corporate establishment are committing economic treason against Wisconsin workers. The public is also increasingly realizing that if the economy can be rigged against workers, it can also be re-rigged in our favor through policies that expand economic opportunity.”

Web Link to News Release http://www.citizenactionwi.org/at_least_11_331_wisconsin_jobs_outsourced_overseas_over_the_last_five_years

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker refuses to answer evolution question

Likely 2016 presidential candidate Scott Walker refused to say on Feb. 11 whether he believes in the theory of evolution, dodging that question and several others about foreign policy after delivering a speech about global trade in London.

“I’m going to punt on that one as well,” said Wisconsin’s Republican governor when asked about evolution at the end of an hour-long appearance at the prestigious Chatham House think tank. “That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or the other. So I’m going to leave that up to you.”

Walker, an evangelical Christian and the 47-year-old son of a Baptist preacher, also declined to answer a series of questions about foreign policy, including how the West should combat the Islamic State group, whether the U.S. should arm forces in Ukraine and whether it’s wise for Great Britain to remain in the European Union.

“I don’t think it’s polite to respond on policy in the United States when you’re in a foreign country,” Walker said when asked about Islamic State. “That’s certainly something I’ll answer in the future.”

The speech marked Walker’s only planned public event during a four-day trade mission to the United Kingdom that wraps up on Feb. 13. He’s also met privately with British Prime Minister David Cameron and British treasury chief George Osborne, among other officials.

While Walker’s trip to London is an officially trade mission, it was widely viewed as an opportunity for the second-term governor to bolster his foreign policy experience – among the thinnest areas of his resume heading into an expected 2016 presidential run.

But Walker chose not to answer questions from audience members at the speech, including reporters, that strayed from his domestic policies and thoughts on trade. When giving his answer on evolution, he said, “I’m here to talk about trade and not pontificate on other issues.”

“I love the evolution of trade in Wisconsin and I’d like to see an even bigger evolution as well,” he said.

Walker’s campaign issued a statement later on Feb. 11 in response to questions about his position on evolution.

“Both science and my faith dictate my belief that we are created by God,” Walker said in the statement. “I believe faith and science are compatible, and go hand in hand.”

His campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to a follow-up question on whether that statement meant Walker believed in evolution or creationism.

Walker also took to Twitter to defend his response. “It’s unfortunate the media chose to politicize this issue during our trade mission to foster investment in WI,” he wrote.

Walker, who rose to political fame by effectively ending collective bargaining for most public workers in Wisconsin, and then surviving a subsequent recall election, also defended his record at home and questions about his latest proposal to cut funding for the University of Wisconsin by $300 million.

Walker is the latest in a steady stream of potential Republican 2016 hopefuls making trips to London. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was there last week and others, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have all traveled to the United Kingdom in recent months.

During an interview on ABC earlier this month, Walker said the U.S. had to be prepared “to put boots on the ground if that’s what it takes” in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Pressed on whether that meant putting U.S. troops in Syria, Walker said, “No, I don’t think that is an immediate plan.”

Walker’s lack of overseas experience is a vulnerability already being picked at by one other potential 2016 presidential candidate.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio criticized Walker and other governors considering a 2016 campaign when asked at a conservative summit last month in California about their relative lack of foreign policy experience.

“Taking a trip to some foreign city for two days does not make you Henry Kissinger,” Rubio said.