Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Obama Stimulus Funding Goes Abroad, Outsources Jobs

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As Democrats continue to bash Mitt Romney for his purported record on outsourcing jobs, the Republican Party has launched a counteroffensive, exposing President Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus law for doling out millions of dollars to foreign companies or subsidizing U.S. firms that expanded operations abroad or purchased foreign goods.

The Obama campaign has been vocal in its dissent of job outsourcing, using Romney’s past business endeavors as an indication of his performance on domestic job-creation. “I want to stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs and factories overseas,” the President asserted Tuesday during a speech in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “As long as I’m president, I will keep fighting to make sure jobs are located here in the United States of America.”

However, Obama’s $787-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funneled millions of federal dollars to companies that shipped American jobs overseas. Take, for example, North Carolina-based LED manufacturer Cree Inc., which reaped $39 million through a stimulus-funded tax credit program in January 2010. In November 2009, the company built a manufacturing plant in Huizhou City, China, which is the harbor for more than half of the company’s employees.

While Cree is a U.S.-based company, chairman and CEO Chuck Swoboda says that “Cree management never runs this company as a U.S. company. We consider Cree to be a global company with local wisdoms.” And the firm’s plans to further expand into foreign countries are only just beginning, asserts Swoboda. “We will continue to invest here for both human talent and the most state-of-the-art technologies,” he said, adding, “We have committed that in the coming 3-5 years, we will continue to expand our operation in Huizhou.”

Another foreign investment scheme spurred on by Obama’s stimulus law involves Japanese wind energy firm Eurus Energy, whose American subsidiary, Eurus Energy America, collected $91 million in stimulus funding to initiate construction of a wind farm in Texas. As it turns out, the wind farm was allegedly built using turbines manufactured by Mitsubishi — another Japanese company.

“Eurus Energy America, the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese firm, received $91 million in stimulus money for its Bull Creek wind farm in Texas,” cited a 2010 report by American University. “The farm consists of 180 Mitsubishi turbines.”

Furthermore, the Energy Department’s insatiable appetite for “green” investments has become a chief stimulant to job creation in foreign countries. Solar power firm Sempra Energy, for example, was awarded a whopping $337-million loan guarantee to supply panels for a solar power array in Arizona. However, while Sempra is based in California, the company purchased its solar panels from the Chinese solar giant Suntech. 

Perhaps the most damning paragon of the Obama administration’s subsidization of foreign companies involves a $500-million loan guarantee siphoned to Finnish automaker Fisker Automotive. A component of the Energy Department’s alternative-fuel vehicle program, the loan was intended to bolster Fisker’s presence in the U.S. manufacturing market. However, claiming it was unable to find a viable location in the United States, Fisker never built a domestic facility, deciding instead to cease its U.S. operations and continue building vehicles in Finland.

“There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle,” founder Henrik Fisker told ABC News. “They don’t exist here.” Fisker said Finland was a more efficient and economical place to carry out his operations. "We're not in the business of failing; we're in the business of winning. So we make the right decision for the business," he affirmed. "That's why we went to Finland."

In response to these damning new revelations, the Republican Party is ramping up efforts to expose the President’s record on outsourcing jobs. In fact, the Republican National Committee just unveiled a new website, entitled Obamanomics Outsourced, which highlights how federal dollars under Obama have funded foreign projects, as it includes a map with pop-up details about the administration’s numerous foreign investment projects.

"Over his four years in office, Obama promised that he would focus on creating 'jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced,'" the site reads. "However, as he racked up trillions in new debt, billions of dollars did go to create jobs that were outsourced or spent overseas. Whether it is electric cars made in Finland or solar panels in Mexico, taxpayers would be astonished to learn that their hard-earned money went abroad for jobs that weren't created in the United States." 

Even the ultra-liberal Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has expressed discontent over the president’s economic stimulus, indicating to ABC News that the law was falsely advertised to Congress. “In all due respect I remind the secretary [of Energy] there is a four-letter word associated with the stimulus — J-O-B-S,” Schumer charged. “Very few jobs here, lots of jobs in China. That is not what I intended or any other legislator who voted for the stimulus intended.”

Photo: An employee answers calls at a call center in Bangalore, India, Aug. 29, 2005: AP Images

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