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Senate Dems Challenge Trump to Follow Through on Exit Tax to 'Protect American Jobs'

WASHINGTON – United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard and two Democratic senators endorsed President-elect Trump’s proposal to tax U.S. companies that ship jobs overseas to produce products sold in America.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the incoming majority leader, and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) said Democrats are ready to work with Trump to pass a trade agenda.

“If companies are going to abandon the United States they should pay an exit tax, they shouldn’t get a break on their taxes for their moving expenses. We challenge the president-elect again to work with us to pass these policies and protect American jobs,” Schumer said during a news conference on Capitol Hill to launch "Trump Outsource Watch," a Center of American Progress initiative to track jobs that are sent overseas while Trump is in office.

Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, was on hand at the event to unveil the initiative.

Trump has indicated that he wants to stick to his original idea to enforce a 35 percent tax on American companies that manufacture products overseas and sell them inside the United States.

“There will be a tax on our soon-to-be-strong border of 35 percent for these companies wanting to sell their product, cars, A.C. units, etc., back across the border,” Trump recently wrote on Twitter.

Peters said the exact level of taxation would be debated but he “fully” supports Trump’s tariff proposal.

“The message was very clear in this election as well that enough is enough, you can’t keep sending good-paying jobs to other countries then shipping those products back. You can’t have a sustainable economy if people don’t have strong wages that can actually buy these products, so we have to change the way we do business and if that means a tariff… if that means other sorts of proposals that we have to engage in, I’m going to be fully supportive of that because our communities have been hollowed out, they’ve been devastated as a result of outsourcing,” he said at the press conference.

“Hopefully Donald Trump will come through with those. He certainly has a great deal of experience in outsourcing. He is very skilled at it as he has outsourced all of his products and buying Chinese steel and clothing products, so he knows the games that CEOs play because he’s played that game very well and now it’s time for him to step up and truly step up for American workers,” he added.

The Donald J. Trump Collection ties and dress shirts are made in China and other countries, for example, but his campaign’s “Make America Great Again Hats” were manufactured in the U.S.

Gerard said he would support the 35 percent tax Trump has proposed.

“We are with him on that and we would support him on that,” he said at the press conference.