October 11, 2019
The House of Representatives could soon consider a bill that would require public companies to report to the SEC the number of workers they employ in each U.S. state, territory, and foreign country, as well as percentage changes in these respective populations from the previous year.
Differing views on value of disclosure: Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA), who sponsored the “Outsourcing Accountability Act” (H.R. 3624) contends: “Corporations are shipping jobs overseas to protect their bottom line, then deceiving the public to protect their image.” But opponents, led by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), question the value to shareholders and the public of Congress adding “another reporting requirement to an already vast list of information public companies must disclose.” The bill passed on a party line vote in the House Financial Services Committee this summer.
Why it matters: Even with House passage likely, the bill is not expected to receive consideration in the Senate, where a companion bill (S. 1843) has been introduced. Nevertheless, the drumbeat on cracking down on overseas outsourcing continues, including continuing calls for tax penalties. It will assuredly be a theme in the presidential campaign next year.