Kerry Campaign Criticizes Those Who Defend 'Outsourcing'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - The John F. Kerry campaign says the Bush administration has "blinders on" when it comes to the middle class.

As proof, the Kerry people point to President Bush's "allies at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce," who this week dared to suggest that job outsourcing may not be such a bad thing for the economy as a whole.

During a speech in San Francisco on Wednesday, Chamber CEO Tom Donohue "slapped workers," according to the Kerry campaign, when he told them to "stop whining" about jobs that go overseas.

According to Kerry spokesman Phil Singer, "The Bush Campaign should disavow Mr. Donohue's comments and apologize to all those who have lost their jobs to outsourcing."

In his speech on Wednesday, Donohue said it's understandable that individuals feel pain when they lose their jobs to "offshoring." But he said those "pockets of unemployment" should not dictate political or economic policies.

The Chamber of Commerce says outsourcing/offshoring helps consumers by lowering prices.

"If successful, [outsourcing] results in lower costs, greater efficiency, higher productivity, better profitability, and higher stock prices," said the Chamber's Chief Economist Martin Regalia in a September 2003 economic analysis.

But the Kerry campaign is having none of that. On Thursday, the Kerry campaign pointed to press reports saying that 995,000 U.S. jobs have gone overseas since March 2001.

Kerry has suggested that companies sending jobs and profits overseas are traitors, and he wants to "stop tax breaks for companies that move jobs abroad."

A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives several months ago -- the Defending American Jobs Act of 204 -- would deny federal financing and loan guarantees to companies that ship jobs overseas.

But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said such proposals are more likely to hurt than help:

"Companies that are precluded from making use of cost-cutting efficiencies available to their competitors will not be able to offer competitive prices to consumers or competitive returns to their investors," said the Chamber's Chief Economist Regalia in his 2003 report.

"At the very least, the states forcing this behavior will pay more for goods and services, increasing already high deficits. In the worst case, the companies will not be economically viable, and more jobs will be lost."

In a press release issued Thursday, the Kerry campaign trumpeted recent news headlines on the number of American jobs lost to outsourcing, and it also noted Chamber CEO Donohue's close ties to the Bush White House.

The Kerry press release came out one day before the U.S. government released its latest job numbers, showing that unemployment held steady at 5.6 percent in June - and 112,000 more jobs were added to payrolls.

In the past 16 weeks, one economist noted, the U.S. economy has added 1.1 million new jobs.

See Earlier Story:
Chamber of Commerce Touts Outsourcing (29 June 2004)