The US Chamber of Commerce should have shed the "US" label long ago
The Washington-based special interest lobby for years lobbied for proposals that make it easier for multinational corporations to shut down factories in this country, layoff US workers and outsource work to foreign lands.
That should come as no surprise, since the "US Chamber of Commerce" represents what Tita Freeman, a spokeswoman for the group, refers to as “non-US-based companies.”
That’s code for foreign multinationals.
To be fair, the Chamber also represents US multinationals that shut factories in this country, layoff US workers and outsource work to foreign lands.
It should also be noted that, while the US Chamber of Commerce works hard to make it easier to shift work from the US to other countries, it is scrupulous about assuring that international trade agreements do not afford additional protections workplace, environmental and human rights protections to workers in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
In other words, the US Chamber of Commerce promotes a global race to the bottom that is harms workers here and abroad.
But that race to the bottom is, at least in the short term, beneficial to the bottom lines of multinational corporations. So they fund the chamber, while their international business councils pay what is referred to by the organization as a "nominal fee" of around $100,000 annually to, among other things, help it speed up the outsourcing of US jobs.
The multinational corporations are putting extra money in the chamber’s coffers this year as the group has launched a $75 million campaign to get a Congress that it can count on to oppose the interests of working families and communities in the United States and abroad.
That money, even when it comes from foreign firms, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, is "deposited in the same 501(c)(6) account that the Chamber is using to run an unprecedented $75 million attack campaign, mostly against Democrats…"
The chamber says it uses some fancy accounting to assure that only US money is used to attack US candidates who favor the interests of working Americans. But that’s a little like saying: "I paid with money from my left pocket, not my right pocket."
Ultimately, however, we should thank the chamber.
It’s determination to flood the airwaves with ads paid for by multinational corporations has finally forced the Democrats to get serious about corporate infuence on our politics.