US anti-offshoring law blocked

An attempt to change US law in order to discourage the use of offshore outsourcing have been blocked in the Senate.

The “Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring” bill aimed to eliminate tax breaks for US companies that send jobs offshore and to create incentives for them to move jobs back to the country. It was blocked by Republican senators, however.

Iowa senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, argued that the bill would burden US companies, making them less competitive. “The overall bill is being sold as somehow having the potential to create American jobs … but it would more likely have the exact opposite effect and lead to a net decrease in American jobs,” he said.

US trade union the AFL-CIO said the Republican party has shown its “true colours … by blocking debate on a bill that would help create jobs and push forward toward economic recovery.”

Last month, the US senate successfully passed a bill to increase the cost of migrant worker visa applications. In making the case for the bill, Democrat senator Charles Schumer referred to Indian IT outsourcing companies “such as Infosys” as “chop shops”.

He added that the bill would “not affect the high-tech companies such as … Microsoft that play by the rules and recruit workers in America.” According to a 2007 report by Information Week, Microsoft receives more H1B visas than any other company.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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