Commentary

WSJ: We Actually Insource!

From today’s Wall Street Journal: Despite the political outcry over the outsourcing of white-collar jobs to such places as India and Ghana, the latest U.S. government data suggest that foreigners outsource far more office work to the U.S. than American companies send abroad. The value of U.S. exports of legal work, computer programming, telecommunications, banking, engineering, management consulting and other private services jumped to $131.01 billion in 2003, up $8.42 billion from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Imports of such private services — a category that encompasses U.S. outsourcing of call centers and data entry to developing nations, among other things — hit $77.38 billion for the year, up $7.94 billion from 2002. Measuring imports against exports, the U.S. posted a $53.64 billion surplus last year in trade in private services with the rest of the world.

Geoffrey Segal is the director of privatization and government reform at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. He is also editor of Reason's Privatization Watch.