Tax Credit Amendment Offered to Jobs Bill, Would Close Illegal Immigrant Tax Loopholes, Create Savings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today offered an amendment to help protect American shrimping jobs that are increasingly imperiled by imports supported by unfair government subsidies.

Cochran offered his amendment to the Bring Jobs Home Act (S.2569), which is pending before the Senate. The Cochran proposal would provide 50 cents per pound tax credits for domestic wild-caught shrimp harvesters and processors in the United States through December 2019.

“Shrimping jobs in Mississippi and around the country are under continual threat from foreign competitors whose governments prop them up with unfair subsidies. As a result, jobs are being lost and an American industry is imperiled,” Cochran said. “The tax credits I propose would serve as a counterbalance to the harmful impact of those illegal subsidies.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce has determined that seven nations (China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam) currently support their shrimpers with illegal subsidies valued at more than $250 million annually. The Cochran amendment is intended to level the playing field for U.S. harvesters and producers, consistent with World Trade Organization requirements.

Based on current warm shrimp harvests and production, the five-year tax credit would cost an estimated $240 million a year, which Cochran would offset by eliminating a loophole in the U.S. Tax Code that permits illegal immigrants to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit. In 2010, the U.S. Treasury Department estimated that $4.2 billion in Child Tax Credits has been paid to illegal immigrants. Even with the $1.2 billion cost of the Cochran credit, closing the Additional Child Care Tax Credit would save taxpayers billions of dollars.

Cochran, who last week criticized U.S. enforcement of trade duties imposed on countries found to be dumping shrimp, fish and other products on U.S. markets, said the adoption of his amendment would begin to improve the Bring Jobs Home Act. The Mississippi Senator is critical of the underlying Democrat-sponsored bill, which is a partisan measure that, if adopted, would increase the deficit and do little to create jobs in the United States.

“If the majority actually allows a debate to improve this bill, my amendment should be considered,” Cochran said.

· Cochran Amendment #3645: