Obama softens his stance on offshoring

In India, president says that outsourcing can benefit businesses and workers in both countries

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President Barack Obama this month took steps to allay concerns expressed by India's government and its IT industry that the U.S. would enact protectionist measures in response to fears that offshoring is a cause of American job losses.

Indian leaders have been on edge since Congress raised the fees for H-1B visas, and many midterm election candidates pummeled opponents for apparently supporting outsourcing.

During a visit to India earlier this month, Obama described the perception that Indian call centers and back-office operations threaten U.S. jobs as an old stereotype that ignores the reality that trade between the countries creates jobs in both nations.

Instead of complaining about jobs moving to Bangalore, as he did in remarks on tax code changes in May, Obama's latest message to India's leaders emphasized how trade can help both sides.

"I want both the citizens in the United States and citizens in India to understand the benefits of commercial ties between the two countries," he said.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh added that "India is not in the business of stealing jobs from the United States."

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