While Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has been hammering away at Mitt Romney’s record on outsourcing, the president has some trouble of his own on the issue. Critics on the left have charged Obama has not followed through on his promises to stop the flow of jobs to foreign countries, The Washington Post
Obama had promised to change the federal tax code that encourages companies to have foreign operations but Congress has failed to play along. However, critics note that short of congressional action, the president could be more aggressive in challenging China, working on trade issues and making changes in visa programs they say encourage high-tech jobs to go overseas.
“I think he has walked away from the campaign commitments,” Robert Scott, a pro-labor advocate at the liberal Economic Policy Institute, told the Post. “He has done far too little to improve U.S. trade.”
American jobs have been shifting to low-wage countries for years, including during the Obama administration. From 2008 to 2010, trade with China alone cost about 450,000 American jobs because of the growth of Chinese exports, Scott said, according to the Post.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found that large American companies in 2010 barely added any workers in the United States while expanding their foreign workforce by 1.5 percent. The bureau reported that between 2004 and 2010, foreign affiliates hired 2 million workers while 600,000 were added by the companies at home, the Post reported.
“The president could not have been more emphatic about his vision for trying to eliminate the incentives for offshoring and increase incentives to create jobs here,” Brian Deese, deputy director of Obama’s National Economic Council, told the Post. “We have tried to use all the tools available to us to make creative administrative changes where we can to discourage offshoring.”
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