Out of Control Policy Blog

Business down on ěoutsourcingî

Actually, it's the term they don't like, not the concept. A group of business leaders thinks "outsourcing" has become a dirty word–they want to replace it with "worldwide sourcing":

Leaders of the business alliance -- called the Coalition for Economic Growth and American Jobs -- have met in recent days and weeks with officials at the White House, the Commerce Department, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to brief them on the new message.

According to one federal official in one of those meetings, the business leaders pushed the term "worldwide sourcing" and suggested adding context to the debate by showing that fears during earlier periods that jobs were going to evaporate because of new technology or foreign competition turned out to be unfounded.

"Worldwide sourcing" seems unnecessarily long and unclear, and "outsourcing" really only tells part of the story. Although it's very common, you rarely hear any talk about "insourcing"–that is, when foreign companies relocate to the US.

"Outsourcing," "insourcing,"–they're all part of the same process that keeps raising the standard of living here and abroad. Why not chuck all the CEO-speak and just call it "trade"?

Ted Balaker is Producer


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