In today’s Wall Street Journal, Craig Barrett and James Moore cut through the heated political rhetoric about “outsourcing” and get right to the heart of the problem—a misunderstanding among some Congressional leaders on how jobs actually are created. In fact, they say, if the Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act rejected by the Senate this week ever became law, job losses would accelerate and even more companies would relocate jobs overseas.
In their column, “Outsourcing and the 21st-Century Economy” (subscription), Mssrs. Barrett and Moore explain that companies outsource for two reasons:
The first centers on the nature of the global. In today’s world, outsourcing can save companies money, reduce the time it takes to deliver products and services to customers, and provide access to skilled employees unavailable in the U.S. Outsourcing also allows companies to capitalize on incentives offered by foreign governments to attract investment…
The second reason U.S. companies outsource is that our own government pursues policies that drive investment and job creation offshore: excessive taxes, needless regulations, lengthy permit processes, a decreasing supply of U.S. citizens with technical and engineering degrees, and a general governmental misunderstanding of how to support private-sector jobs. For example, taxing new U.S. corporate investment at 35%—when the world average is just over 18%—pushes U.S. companies to invest offshore to increase return to shareholders.
They go on to argue, “Politicians who accuse the business community of being solely responsible for the loss of U.S. jobs are disingenuous at best and urge legislators to “recognize the competitive nature of the 21-st century world economy.”
Manufacturers could not agree more. In fact, NAM’s Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and Competitive America sets out a roadmap for policymakers. On tax policy, rather than looking at ways to punish worldwide American companies, lawmakers should lower the corporate tax rate, provide a permanent and strengthened R&D credit and advance fair and competitive rules for taxing foreign income of U.S. companies, all changes that will make the U.S. a better place to do manufacturing.