Saturday, October 13, 2012

Last Call

Mitt Romney's Bain Capital outfit is back in the political news in a big way this week, with stories of Bain closing down factories and moving jobs to China, while Romney would directly profit from the tax breaks that offshoring those jobs would create.

The tale of Asimco Technologies, an auto parts manufacturer whose plants dot eastern China, would seem to underscore Mitt Romney’s campaign-trail complaint that China’s manufacturing juggernaut is costing America jobs. 

Nine years ago, the company bought two camshaft factories that employed about 500 people in Michigan. By 2007 both were shut down. Now Asimco manufactures the same components in China on government-donated land in a coastal region that China has designated an export base, where companies are eligible for the sort of subsidies Mr. Romney says create an unfair trade imbalance. 

But there is a twist to the Asimco story that would not fit neatly into a Romney stump speech: Since 2010, it has been owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Mr. Romney, who has as much as $2.25 million invested in three Bain funds with large stakes in Asimco and at least seven other Chinese businesses, according to his 2012 candidate financial disclosure and other documents. 

Oh, and it gets worse. Asimco is not the only company slated to be sacrificed on the altar of global profits.

Sensata Technologies is a healthy manufacturing company that employs nearly 200 workers at a factory in northern Illinois. The company has become the focus of national attention because it has been taken over by Bain Capital, which plans to shut the factory down, lay off the workers, and outsource the production to China before the end of the year

The workers have pleaded with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the founder of Bain Capital, to exert his considerable influence to save their jobs. Romney still makes millions each year in income from Bain. So far, he has declined to weigh in, and the factory is scheduled to close by the end of the year.

The best part?  Romney stands to personally make a couple hundred thousand off the deal in tax savings.  The Sensata Technologies story is especially awful.

This is Mitt Romney running his businesses like a business.  Now he wants to run the country like a business.

This story is going to be huge, folks.

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