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BPO a net plus for Americans: US

Amid the hue and cry over job loss in the US due to outsourcing, a new study says otherwise - $50 bn coming in.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2006 12:11 IST

Americans may be complaining about losing jobs to Indians through outsourcing, but a new study says it is a net plus for them with the US getting at least $50 billion more through insourcing.

The US is also winning the global race for talent with immigrants comprising 12 to 26 per cent of the workforce in key occupations, while the nation maintains a low 4.8 per cent jobless rate, says the study by the US Chamber of Commerce.

Overwhelmingly Americans benefit from the nation's openness to trade, foreign investment, immigrants, and international visitors, says the study, "Global Engagement: How Americans Can Win and Prosper in the Worldwide Economy".

"The world's most open major economy is also the world's most successful and envied economy, and that's no accident," said Chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue releasing the report.

"The free flow of trade, talent, and capital across our borders puts money and pay cheques directly into the hands of American workers, families, and small businesses. That is why we must never retreat behind the walls of fear and isolation no matter how tough the global competition becomes."

The study concludes that the US economy will prosper if the nation reforms its legal, regulatory, health, and educational systems while remaining engaged in international markets.

Further efforts to knock down trade barriers, develop domestic energy resources, secure the borders, and stop intellectual property crimes are also needed.

Although some Americans have been harmed by global competition and deserve assistance, critics have wrongly blamed trade for the concerns facing many middle class Americans, according to the Chamber.

"Critics have yet to explain how closing markets would expand the American dream," the report states.

Among the report's findings:

- Exports directly support 12 million US jobs and millions more indirectly. Ninety-seven per cent of all exporters are small and medium-sized businesses.

- Imports benefit working and middle class families. Recent tariff reductions have expanded the typical family's purchasing power by $1,300 to $2,000 per year.

- Foreign investors directly employ 5.1 million Americans and tens of millions more indirectly.