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Public Statements

Globally Engaged

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, I know that what I'm about to say may be seen as heresy by many--or at least counterintuitive--but, Mr. Speaker, this statement is based in fact: outsourcing is not decimating our economy. If we take a step back and look at the big picture, setting aside demagoguery and knee-jerk reactions, we see that engagement with the worldwide marketplace is a positive thing for our economy and our shared quest to create good American jobs.

Being globally engaged takes many forms. It includes exporting our goods overseas. It includes imports. It includes complex supply chains that allow us to maximize comparative advantage and productivity on a global scale. It demands innovation, creativity, and adaptability. This is all part of the dynamic worldwide marketplace, and it does not constitute a zero sum game.

If a U.S. manufacturer can lower costs by importing some of their raw materials, increasing their competitiveness and hiring more U.S. workers as a result, our job market improves. American workers benefit. By the same token, if a company can tap into other labor markets, becoming more competitive in the process and then hiring more U.S. workers as a result, we can all benefit.

This is not a hypothetical scenario. We have the data that demonstrates the clear benefits of engaging in the worldwide marketplace. The last time the issue of outsourcing became a political flash point was in 2004. We often heard this term, ``Benedict Arnold CEOs'' who were sending good U.S. jobs overseas.

The McKinsey Global Institute did an in-depth analysis of the effect of outsourcing to see what impact it was actually having on our economy. What they found was very interesting. They found that companies that utilize outsourcing as a component of their business plans enjoy new export opportunities, increased productivity, and significant cost savings, all of which support new investment in the United States and greater job creation right here at home. Furthermore, the jobs that are created by globally engaged companies tend to be higher-skill, higher-waged jobs than those created by their nonglobally engaged counterparts.

Mr. Speaker, the findings of the McKinsey report are only buttressed by my own firsthand experience. I'll never forget, several years ago I was in Kathmandu visiting one of those call centers. Now, many would have viewed that call center as a symbol of outsourced jobs, and yet when I looked around, I found U.S. companies right there. I'm not claiming that all of these products were manufactured right here in the United States, but many were manufactured here in this hemisphere. They had names on them like Carrier air conditioners. There was a Westinghouse refrigerator there, Dell computers, and AT&T telephones. Rather than stealing jobs from Americans and this hemisphere, this call center epitomized the very way that global engagement benefits us all.

It is simply inaccurate to claim that every job created overseas destroys a job here in the United States, and it completely misses the point. Rather than demonizing those who are trying to build competitive companies that grow our economy and create opportunity for Americans, we should be looking at what we can do to attract investment here to the United States. We should be looking at what we can do to empower entrepreneurs to revitalize our economy and restore our job market.

Mr. Speaker, attacking private enterprise won't create a single job here or elsewhere. In fact, the danger of isolationist, mercantilist rhetoric is that it can spawn bad policy that further stifles innovation and economic growth.

If we want to have a constructive debate that leads to policies that will encourage growth and job creation, we need to look at the facts, and the facts are very simple. Engaging globally through exports, imports, outsourcing, in-sourcing, and all the many ways of tapping into the dynamic, competitive worldwide marketplace is the best way to get Americans back to work.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues not to succumb to the politically expedient but economically damaging rhetoric of isolationism.

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