Rep. Axne Introduces Offshoring Notification Act in Response to Trade Adjustment Assistance Certification

January 14, 2020
Press Release
Legislation will help expedite employment assistance for American workers and hold companies accountable for jobs sent overseas

Washington D.C. — Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) introduced the Offshoring Notification Act, a bill that will get assistance to Americans who have lost their jobs to outsourcing quicker and further protect American jobs by holding corporations accountable for sending jobs overseas.

The bill comes after last week’s Department of Labor certification of a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) petition for hundreds of Des Moines workers laid off from Wells Fargo in November 2018, after an investigation showed their jobs had been sent outside the U.S.

“It’s bad enough that corporations are leaving American workers high and dry by discreetly shipping jobs overseas,” said Rep. Axne. “It’s unacceptable that it can take more than a year for resources to help those workers get back on their feet to be available — especially when corporations already know they plan to move their jobs out of the U.S. My bill would require transparency from these companies and ensure that workers aren’t left waiting for the help they deserve.”

The legislation would amend the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and require WARN layoff notices to clarify whether the employer plans to continue producing the good or providing the service that the affected employees were producing or providing. If so, the bill would require the company to state whether they intend to do so outside of the United States.

This disclosure will help expedite claims for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which provides skills training and workforce development resources to those who have lost their job because of shifts in company operations to other countries. By requiring corporations to disclose any intent to offshore the jobs in the termination notice, employees could more easily seek TAA when they need it most, rather than waiting months or even years for a case to be certified.

Throughout her first year in Congress, Rep. Axne has focused on protecting Iowa jobs and improving transparency and accountability of corporations.

In October, the House passed Rep. Axne’s Outsourcing Accountability Act, legislation to require publicly traded companies to disclose where employees are located by state and country in their annual report.

Last March, Rep. Axne questioned former Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan about the layoffs, and later wrote to Wells Fargo about whether the jobs had been moved overseas in an effort to ensure that eligible workers could receive TAA.