Is outsourcing jobs to other countries good for America?
Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found.
Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. (Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by party; black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria.)
Chuck Baldwin, Founder and Minister of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Mary Starrett, in an Aug. 11, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"Talented professionals should have their best opportunities for employment within the United States. If the Federal government limited its activities and expenditures to those which are Constitutionally permissible, the outsourcing of jobs and businesses would cease to be the problem which it has become." Aug. 11, 2008 Chuck Baldwin
[Editor's Note: ProCon.org emailed the Barr campaign on July 22, 2008 with this question. In an Aug. 19, 2008 email from Andrew Davis, Bob Barr's Deputy Press Secretary, ProCon.org received a statement from the article "Bob Barr on: Spending & The Economy" on Bob Barr's official candidate website. ProCon.org believes that the following quote we received does not address our question, therefore we have left the position as None Found: "We should seek to establish a wall of separation between government and the economy. The legitimate economic functions of government are to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. The government should stop attempting to 'manage' the free market."]
John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ), stated in a Jan. 12, 2008 article titled "Remarks To Americans For Prosperity Michigan Summit" on his official campaign website:
"Globalization is here to stay. That is not something to fear. It is an opportunity to be seized. But globalization will not automatically benefit every American.
Change is hard, and while most of us gain, some industries, companies and workers are forced to struggle with very difficult choices. It wasn't government's job to spend millions to save buggy whip factories and haberdashers when cars replaced carriages and men stopped wearing hats. But it is government's job to help workers get the education and training they need for the new jobs that will be created by new businesses in this new century...
Older workers can use their experience and work ethic to adapt to the challenges of the next job, but often the starting pay of the next job doesn't measure up. We should give these displaced workers who move to a new job a few years of supplement to their earnings so that the impact of their economic dislocation is not so severe. They will be less resistant to taking a lower paying job and we will all benefit from having their experience back on the job.
I have always believed that before I can win someone's vote, I have to win their respect. And to do that I have to be honest with you. So here's a little straight talk I know the people of Michigan will understand. Some jobs that have left Michigan are not coming back. And the answer to that isn't to raise false hopes that somehow we can bring back lost jobs but to create new ones." Jan. 12, 2008 John McCain
Cynthia McKinney, former US House Representative (D-GA), stated in an Apr. 22, 2004 speech "All Things Are Not Equal: The Perils of Globalization," at the Georgia Tech Globalization Forum:
"My first encounter with people whose lives were impacted by what we call globalization came as I sought to represent Georgia's old 11th District that swept through Georgia's poor and rural black belt. Those most up in arms at the time were our farmers who were agitated about NAFTA. Those not up in arms, but who bore the brunt of NAFTA, were in one case, the women of Sparta, Georgia--Hancock County. There, single mothers held families together with their low-wage jobs in the textile plants. There, single mothers lost their jobs when the plants moved away. I watched desperate families endure desperate times. 'All things being equal' didn't take the women of Sparta, Georgia into account. As a caring single mother, who also happened to be an elected official, I had to. That's when I drafted legislation to take away tax breaks for corporations that locate their plants overseas. It wasn't a sexy subject at that time, but it was definitely a problem that I saw firsthand, affecting real lives and real people.
Now, more people are paying attention to globalization because at first it was just 'them,' now, it's a whole lot of us. Globalization used to be perceived as something that happened to poor workers or the environment in faraway places like China. Now globalization has come home.
So the first effect that I would like to mention is the effect that these economic policies have on careers, creating uncertainty for real people as they watch more and more jobs being sent off shore." Apr. 22, 2004 Cynthia McKinney
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, issued the following statement through his Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, in an Oct. 20, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), stated in a Feb. 27, 2004 interview on Public Affairs with Cliff Kelly on radio station WVON, 1450 AM in Chicago, IL:
"The No. 1 priority is jobs and job loss and that is something that is hitting communities downstate as well as here in Chicago. Everywhere I go people are out of work or they are insecure with the jobs that they have. The whole issue of outsourcing is enormously important. Not only are blue collar jobs being exported now, but you have got white collar jobs going to India and Singapore, and so people feel enormous economic insecurity and that has to be priority No. 1." Feb. 27, 2004 Barack Obama
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear
below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)
Hillary Clinton, US Senator (D-NY), stated at the June 28, 2007 All-American Presidential Forum, hosted by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), held at Howard University in Washington, DC:
"Well, outsourcing is a problem, and it's one that I've dealt with as a senator from New York. I started an organization called New Jobs for New York to try to stand against the tide of outsourcing, particularly from upstate New York and from rural areas." June 28, 2007 Hillary Clinton
John Edwards, former US Senator (D-NC), stated at the June 28, 2007 All-American Presidential Forum, hosted by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), held at Howard University in Washington, DC:
"Let me say first, this is something I donâ€™t have to read about in a book. Iâ€™ve seen it up close. I saw what happened when the mill that my dad worked in all his life, and I worked in myself when I was young, closed and the jobs went somewhere else. It was not just devastating to him and his pride and his dignity. It was devastating to the community, and the same thing has happened all over America...
...[W]e need to eliminate all tax breaks for companies who are taking their jobs overseas and getting a tax break for doing it." June 28, 2007 John Edwards
Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, is quoted in a Nov. 24, 2007 Associated Press article titled "Giuliani Says Competition, Lower Taxes Will Ease Job Losses":
"Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani told voters worried about job losses and outsourcing that burdensome taxes and regulations are to blame rather than corporate greed. Speaking at a VFW [Veterans of Foreign Wars] hall, the former New York mayor disagreed with a woman who said she blames greedy CEOs [Chief Executive Officers] for the outsourcing of jobs to other countries. Businesses have a right to make a profit, he said.
'I think outsourcing is a function of being anticompetitive,' he said.
The solution, he said, is lifting some regulations on businesses and lowering the corporate tax rate.
'If we right now lowered the corporate tax from 35 to 28 percent you'd stop a lot of outsourcing like that,' he said. 'All of sudden the incentive to do business in this country would go up.'" Nov. 24, 2007 Rudy Giuliani
Mike Gravel, former US Senator (D-AK), at the June 28, 2007 All-American Presidential Forum held at Howard University in Washington, DC and hosted by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), stated:
"...[O]utsourcing is not the problem. What is the problem is our trade agreements that we have that benefit the management and, of course, the shareholders, and have neglected on either side of the issue, whether it's in Mexico or in other countries or the United States. That's the problem that must be addressed.
So, no, it's not outsourcing. But I would add to it, it's the way all of these people want to finance health care, on the backs of businesses, that make them uncompetitive in the world. That's part of the problem. And our system of taxation is also part of the problem because it makes us uncompetitive in the world." June 28, 2007 Mike Gravel
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, in a Jan. 13, 2008 interview on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), stated:
"There is another reason why manufacturing is critical for the United States. If we really can't produce our own weapons of sef-defence, and we outsource our manufacturing, we've outsourced our freedom...
'The Arsenal to Democracy' is what Franklin Delano Roosevelt called America, and the heartland of that Arsenal has been Michigan, where they really helped us to understand how to produce our airplanes, our tanks, our bullets, our bombs, and to build things to provide us our capacity to be free. If we lose that, we lose more than just jobs, we lose our very basis of freedom." Jan. 13, 2008 Mike Huckabee
ProCon.org emailed the Imperato campaign on Jan. 21, 2008 with this question. Mr. Imperato provided a response to this question and 26 others during a recorded 45-minute telephone interview with ProCon.org on Mar. 11, 2008. On Mar. 21, 2008 Mr. Imperato no longer met our eligibility criteria for inclusion on this site, and we stopped transcribing his verbal responses as of that date.
Alan Keyes, former Assistant US Secretary of State, stated in the Oct. 12, 2004 "Alan Keyes and Barack Obama Debate," hosted by Illinois Radio Network:
"Free trade is a myth--and those people who say it's a good thing are actually selling out the American people in favor of a handful of special interests who are outsourcing our jobs, allowing these despotisms in China and elsewhere to export goods into the United States when they refuse to pay the price in terms of what's needed to respect union rights and freedom of association and the decent conditions of work.
We pay that price in America. And yet, when these cheap goods come over here, we allow that slave good to compete with our free good without making any distinction whatsoever between the false price of the slave-produced good and the real price that reflects human dignity and human rights.
I think it's time that we stood against this kind of false doctrine that's benefiting a handful of special interests while it destroys the manufacturing base in Illinois. 18.8% of our manufacturing jobs lost since 1998." Oct. 12, 2004 Alan Keyes
Steve Kubby, a Libertarian candidate and founder of the American Medical Marijuana Association, stated in a Jan. 31, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"That depends on what you mean by 'outsourcing.'
To the extent that Americans are well-educated and in a position to take risks, it's great for them to be able to move into advanced, innovative sectors of the job market, and let jobs which require less skill and education go to places where workers will do them -- and deliver the fruits of them -- more cheaply. We pay less for the things we buy, they bring up their own standards of living and buy more things from us. Capital flows to where it produces the greatest return ... and when that happens, everyone wins.
On the other hand, to the extent that 'outsourcing' is caused by confiscatory taxation and burdensome over-regulation, it just means that our government is depriving Americans of jobs they'd be glad to have. It's a distortion in the market, making offshore labor artificially more attractive." Jan. 31, 2008 Steve Kubby
Frank McEnulty, an Independent candidate and President of Our Castle Homes, in a Jan. 24, 2008 email to ProCon.org, stated:
"It depends on the jobs and what we do, as a country, to help the displaced workers find jobs better suited to our economy. If we are going to allow the outsourcing of jobs, as a free economy must, then we must also provide for the retraining of those workers so they are not left behind economically." Jan. 24, 2008 Frank McEnulty
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated in an Oct. 12, 2007 live online Q & A titled "Election '08: Talk With the Candidates" hosted by the Washington Post online, the Concord Monitor, and the Cedar Rapids Gazette:
"Outsourcing is a reflection of a bad economic environment domestically. If you fix that, you fix outsourcing. Our primary export is paper money, and that should change if you change the monetary policy. We should drop the Overseas Investment Protection Corporation -- which makes taxpayers cover losses for US companies doing business in foreign countries -- have a sound currency and lower taxes. With that we could become competitive again, but that is going to be very very difficult." Oct. 12, 2007 Ron Paul
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated in a speech in Lexington County, SC that was covered by the Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) on Feb. 23, 2006:
"We're seeing jobs leave our state [Massachusetts] and go to Asia. It's a wonderful thing in some respects, but a little frightening in others. We've had jobs go from our state in the past. Textile came here [South Carolina], and ultimately left here and went off to Asia. We've had low end jobs leave our country before... But now we are seeing some high end jobs also leave our country... This is great news that they [developing countries] are getting into the world economy... They'll be able to buy our products and services from this country. So it's good news, but it's also a challenge because we want to make sure that this country always remains the superpower economically and militarily of this planet."
Feb. 23, 2006 Mitt Romney
Christine Smith, a Libertarian candidate and a social and political activist, stated in a Feb. 27, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"In a true free market, such decisions would result in a much better economy. The problem is in America we do not have a free market. I am for true free trade. Trade free from all government intrusion and regulation. I oppose NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, WTO, [North American Free Trade Agreement, Central America Free Trade Agreement, General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade, World Trade Organization] etc. because American businesses should be free to do business with any nation in the world without restriction. I am for a free market where there is no interference whatsoever from the government - no subsidies, no bail-outs, no anti-trust laws, no price controls - a market that allows business to succeed (or fail) as it will without any artificial control from government. A free market will regulate itself in regards to prices, and all will benefit." Feb. 27, 2008 Christine Smith