“What you’re seeing with Carrier is what I call free riders…”
When Carrier Corp. used Mexican labor to maximize its profits, no one was more outraged than Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.
“What you’re seeing with Carrier is what I call free riders,” Donnelly said in 2016. “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.”
What Donnelly did not say was that a family-owned company in which he has shared in the profits has been doing something very similar.
The Associated Press reported last week that Stewart Superior Corp. ships raw materials to its Mexican factory, which sends back the finished products. Although the business is currently run by Donnelly’s brother, Donnelly was a corporate officer and its general counsel before he was elected to Congress in 2006.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee criticized Donnelly and said he was “hypocritically profiting” from the company’s actions.
After the story broke, Donnelly denounced it, but also acted to sell his interest in the firm.
“Some folks in Washington want to make the stock I’ve owned in my brother’s company into a distraction from our work to end outsourcing,” he said in a statement. “I won’t let them distract us, so I’m selling the stock in my brother’s company — a company I haven’t had an active role in for 20 years.”
The company also overhauled its website.
When Stewart Superior’s Mexican connection was first reported, its website said that “a recently opened manufacturing plant in Guadalajara, Mexico, now brings economical, cost-competitive manufacturing and product development to our valued customers.”
That has since been scrubbed from the site.
Donnelly, who is facing re-election in 2018, was criticized for his actions by the America Rising PAC, which said Donnelly has made $80,000 over the past three years form his investment in the company.
“Right now, Donnelly’s action makes it look like he’s fine with profiting from outsourcing, unless The Associated Press is reporting on it. If Donnelly really wants to do the right thing, he’ll donate the $80,000 to charity immediately. Only that will show that he has not profited from shipping good American jobs to Mexico.”
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Source: Western Journalism