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US Senate votes to bar outsourcing govt jobs

March 05, 2004 10:52 IST

Ahead of the presidential and legislative elections, the US Senate voted on Thursday to bar federal contractors from using taxpayers' money to move American jobs offshore.

The measure, aimed at preventing outsourcing of US jobs to countries like India and corporations using tax havens, was approved by a strong majority of 70 to 26 votes.

Outsourcing and India: Complete Coverage

Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, who sponsored the bill said: "You may be able to do that (outsource) with your own money. The question is, should you be able to do that with taxpayers' money?"

He also noted that there was a net loss of three million manufacturing jobs since 2001.

If signed into law, the ban would bar contractors from moving work offshore in cases where the government privatizes work once done by federal employees; when the federal government contracts for goods and services and when the state governments contract work using federal funds.

Several Republicans criticised the idea as a step away from friendly world trade and they warned that the ban might result in a backlash.

A Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, said, "Sometimes I think we don't think it through when we do these broad, over-sweeping things like preventing government outsourcing. I think we should be wary of retaliation against US companies who get awarded foreign government contracts."
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