LIMA — Through U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s, D-Ohio, newly proposed “American Cars, American Jobs Act,” he hopes to provide customers with $3,500 discounts on American made cars and revoke the GOP tax bill on profits from auto manufactures that relocate overseas.
The newly proposed bill is in response to the General Motors plant in Lordstown laying off over 1,000 second-shift employees and its plans to build a new Chevrolet Blazer in Mexico.
During a news conference Wednesday morning at the UAW Local 1219 on 1750 Bible Road, Brown recalled a meeting he had with GM CEO Mary Barra a month prior to the relocation announcement.
He had asked if she would commit building the Chevrolet Blazer at the plant in Youngstown, but she said it would not be feasible due to the paint shop being designed for the Cruze, making it difficult to retool for the Blazer.
Brown believes that companies like GM are more inclined to move their plants overseas because through the GOP tax they are only required to pay a 10.5 percent tax on products as oppose to a 21 percent tax in the U.S.
“The tax bill gave tax cuts to the richest people in the country, but also made it more attractive to move jobs overseas,” said Brown. “GM saved close to $10 billion on their tax bill, yet they cannot invest in the plant in Lordstown, Ohio.”
To level the playing field, Brown is looking to provide customers with a $3,500 discount on vehicles made with at least 45 percent of parts made in America and assembled in the U.S.
These vehicles would include those made at the Jeep plant in Toledo and the Chevrolet Cruze plant in Lordstown.
During the meeting Wednesday, he reassured the crowd full of auto workers, union members and civic leaders that the $3,500 discount would not be paid for by taxpayers, but by companies overseas who through his new bill will be required to pay 21 percent tax.
“There is simply no reason an American company that moves overseas should pay a lower tax rate than the same kind of company with competitors in the United States,” said Brown.
Through his bill, Brown hopes to restore the economy in northwest Ohio.
“I’ve watched Lima for 30 years and I’ve seen what a trade policy and a fat tax policy does to our country and to our communities,” said Brown. “Automotive jobs are important in this community because it enables workers to raise a family, enables them to proudly carry that UAW union card and it enables them to have a decent standard of living.”
Lima Mayor David Berger is in support of the bill and believes that the bill will strongly benefit the Lima community.
“With Sen. Brown, we have someone who absolutely understood the importance of the manufacturing and the automotive industry and why our lives and family’s livelihoods all have been important now and going forward,” said Berger. “It’s really a pleasure today to be here as Sen. Brown unveils a piece of legislation that will strengthen the automotive industry in significant ways.”
Although Brown has the backing of several automotive unions and Berger, his Senate race opponent, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, believes that his bill proposal is lacking substantial evidence.
“It doesn’t surprise me that career politician Sherrod Brown has released a proposal without any legislative text, that has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office, and without any information on the potential cost to American taxpayers or the negative impact it could have on American jobs,” Renacci said in a statement.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.