Business Roundtable President Challenges Outsourcing Myths

Apr 26, 2004

CIO Update Staff

In a speech to the Detroit Economic Club today, John Castellani, president of the Business Roundtable, an organization comprised of CEOs from America's largest companies, challenged critics of outsourcing to "reject isolationist thinking and isolationist rhetoric."

"When you look at our nation's history, every generation seems to have its own new job-killing monster. In the early 20th century it was immigration; in the 1930s it was capitalism; in the 1960s it was automation, and in the 1980s it was Japan," Castellani said. "Outsourcing is not a threat to this nation's economy," Castellani added. "It is an opportunity to raise American earnings, productivity and prosperity."

Speaking before an audience of Michigan business leaders, media and academics, Castellani put the current outsourcing debate into perspective, noting there are more than 138 million Americans with jobs today and, in recent years, only a small percentage of white-collar jobs -- approximately 100,000 annually -- have gone overseas. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the U.S. will net 21 million new jobs between 2002 and 2012.

Castellani cautioned that unions and their members are "jeopardizing the very jobs and wages they think they are protecting by reflexively opposing any attempt to lower trade barriers." He urged politicians and labor leaders to recognize that American workers have "everything to gain by free trade with other nations," citing the benefits that decades of improved efficiency, worldwide competition and demand have brought to the U.S.

Castellani also highlighted key recommendations from a recent Business Roundtable report Securing Growth and Jobs: Improving U.S. Prosperity in a Worldwide Economy. The report lays out the Roundtable's agenda for taking full advantage of America's tremendous growth opportunities and describes the real choice we face today -- economic isolation or business innovation.

The report focuses on four key recommendations:

  • Federal and state tax policies should encourage investment and innovation;
  • free trade must be expanded through new agreements with the rest of the world;
  • foreign trading partners should work to grow their domestic economies; and
  • there should be greater focus on improving the education and training of the American workforce.
  • The full text of Mr. Castellani's speech and the report are available at BR's CEOs represent a workforce of more than 10 million employees in the U.S. and $3.7 trillion in revenues.

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    This article was compiled and edited by CIO Update staff. Please direct any questions regarding its content to Allen Bernard, Managing Editor.


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