Final Word from Wednesday, April 21, 2004





Protectionist Democrats and labor unions in the U.S. have latched onto offshoring as one of the biggest election-year bogeymen. Right-wing economists, business lobbies and the Bush administration have strained to explain that offshoring and outsourcing are ultimately good for the job market. The heated debate has forced American companies to watch their step. Some U.S. companies active in the CR have been instructed by the home office to keep their heads down, so that news of their offshore activities doesn't make it into the U.S. press. Promotion of the CR as a low-cost production site has also been made more difficult, because now isn't the time to talk about the benefits of moving jobs abroad. The situation will likely improve after the U.S. elections, but offshoring will remain a volatile issue as long as the costs of doing business in the U.S. continue to rise.

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