Outsourcing means U.S. job creation is a must, Powell says
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke at a news conference in India
IDG News Service - While outsourcing is a reality of the 21st century and inevitable, the U.S. must create jobs to replace those being lost, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday in Delhi, India.
"Outsourcing invariably does result in the loss of jobs, and we have to do a better job in the United States, a good job in the United States, of creating opportunity in the United States to provide more jobs, so that those who have lost jobs will have opportunities in the future," said Powell at a joint news conference in Delhi with India's external affairs minister, Yashwant Sinha.
Powell's remarks come against the backdrop of a growing outcry in the U.S. against the loss of jobs by offshore outsourcing to low-cost locations like India. With an eye on cutting costs, a large number of U.S. companies are shipping jobs in software development, business process outsourcing and call centers to their Indian subsidiaries or to contractors in India.
"It is the reality of 21st century international economics that these kinds of dislocations will take place," said Powell, according to a transcript of the news conference. "And what we have to do is work to minimize these dislocations and provide new opportunities for workers. This is a major issue that we will be focusing on in the months ahead.
"When you put in place the Internet system, and when you put in place broadband capabilities, so that information and services can be moved around the world and connected to other parts of the world at the speed of light, people will take advantage of that kind of capability and that gives you the kind of outsourcing that we have seen here [in India]," Powell said." We have also seen outsourcing of jobs in the United States to Mexico, to China, to other parts of the world as the global world develops."
While emphasizing that the U.S. doesn't expect quid pro quo from the Indian government, Powell said there are opportunities for U.S. citizens to service Indian needs and expressed hope that India understands the need for reforms so that the U.S. can have more opportunities there. India should allow more foreign direct investment, continue with economic reforms and make it easier for U.S. businesses to enter the Indian market, he said.
Outsourcing of work overseas, commonly known as offshoring, has come under criticism from both legislators and workers' unions. The U.S. Senate in January passed an appropriations bill totaling $328 billion that contains provisions restricting government contractors from outsourcing work overseas.
The legislation has been sharply criticized
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