Bush: No protectionism to safeguard offshored US tech jobs

Job losses "painful" but everyone's a winner in the end, says Dubya
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor

Job losses "painful" but everyone's a winner in the end, says Dubya

US President George Bush has ruled out any protectionist measures to safeguard US jobs that are under threat from companies outsourcing work overseas to countries such as India.

On a visit to India last week Bush admitted that it is "painful" for those people who lose their jobs as a result of globalisation but he said the US rejects a policy of protectionism.

He said in a speech at Purana Qila in New Delhi: "It's true that some Americans have lost jobs when their companies moved operations overseas. It's also important to remember that when someone loses a job, it's an incredibly difficult period for the worker and their families."

But he said the answer is to embrace that competition and the new opportunities it creates.

Bush said: "Some people believe the answer to this problem is to wall off our economy from the world through protectionist policies. I strongly disagree."

Bush said India's booming 300 million-strong middle-class population, which has benefited from the growth in the Indian economy on the back of the success of offshore outsourcing, will create new markets for US companies to target their products at.

He said: "America welcomes India's economic rise, because we understand that as other nations prosper, it creates more opportunity for us all. In a free economy, every citizen has something to contribute."

He also said there will be new career opportunities for those IT and call centre workers who have lost their jobs because the work has been sent overseas to countries such as India with cheaper labour.

Bush said: "My government is helping Americans who have lost their jobs get new skills for new careers. And we're helping to create millions of new jobs in both our countries by embracing the opportunities of a global economy."

Bush's comments come on the back of two separate reports last week claiming that there are no links between the growth in offshore outsourcing and the loss of IT jobs and that automation has played a greater role than outsourcing in putting people out of work.

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