Committee on Science and Technology
Click to view Printer-Friendly formatted page. Printer-Friendly  |  Font Size: A A A

Press Releases :: March 29, 2006

Frustrated by Lack of Federal Commitment to Curb Offshoring, Dems Seek Commerce Report Containing Data on Loss of U.S. Jobs

U.S. House Science Committee Democrats today continued their efforts to compel the U.S. Department of Commerce to produce hard data and in-depth research on offshoring of U.S jobs in high-tech industries – data that the Department has consistently refused to provide.

In the last five years, nearly 3 million Americans have lost manufacturing jobs due to offshoring.  A recent poll conducted for National Public Radio found that offshoring is the number one concern (26%) of hardworking Americans, outpacing the Iraq war (23%) and immigration (14%).

"We are all concerned about jobs for hardworking Americans.  It is difficult for me to understand how this Committee can seriously talk about bolstering America’s global competitive position if, in the next breath, we claim not to want the most sophisticated analysis done by the Federal Government on what is happening with American jobs in high-tech fields," said bill sponsor and Committee Ranking Member Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN).

The full Committee today considered H. Res. 717 instructing the Department of Commerce to release the data.  Specifically, Democratic Committee Members filed the resolution to compel the full release of a report entitled Six-Month Assessment of Workforce Globalization in Certain Knowledge-Based Industries.  This report was produced by analysts in the Office of the Technology Administration (TA) in 2004 – at a cost to taxpayers of $335,000 – but has never been publicly released in full form.

After thwarted attempts in the past year to work in a bipartisan fashion to obtain the full report and review its content, Science Committee Democrats introduced H. Res. 717 to force the Committee to face up to its responsibility to learn as much as possible about the loss of American jobs due to offshoring – or the relocation of business processes and jobs to lower-cost locations, typically overseas.

Majority claims that a forthcoming Federally-funded study on offshoring from the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) would provide "more complete data" than the TA report requested through H. Res. 717 were quickly proven by Committee Democrats as unfounded.  Republicans on the Committee contend that NAPA received all of the TA analysts’ data in compiling their report.  However, after Democratic interviews with all seven TA analysts it is clear that those analysts talked with NAPA representatives, but none of their data was made available to them.

Ironically, NAPA released its first volume of findings in January of this year, and those findings concluded that there currently exists insufficient data to provide definitive data on the topic.

Industry analysts point to the full TA report as the only government study to date that examined all available private sector and government data in assembling its research into the factors driving U.S. jobs offshore to foreign countries.  Drafted between January and June 2004, the original TA offshoring report was nearly 200 pages in length.  Rather than releasing their full findings, the U.S. Department of Commerce produced a 12-page summary - well after the report’s original due date and only after being compelled by FOIA requests - that some TA analysts claim mischaracterizes their findings.

"The American people spent $335,000 on this report and we believe they have a right to see its findings.  The issue of offshoring American jobs is too important to our workers and our economy to ignore.  We need to understand the dynamics of what is going on in order to create effective public policy.  That is all we are trying to do," added senior Science Committee Democrat Rep. Jerry Costello (D-IL).

"It is bewildering how staunchly the Administration and the Majority have impeded our attempts to get this report.  This shouldn't be about politics; this should be about getting the job done.  We have a right to that report and, as a matter of good governance, need the most in-depth and functional information we can get.  I am concerned with this continual censorship of data that has been so prevalent under this Administration," stated the Ranking Member of the ETS Subcommittee Rep. David Wu (D-OR).

Ranking Member Gordon told fellow Committee Members, "If you are not worried, I think you should be.  Up to now, we have all thought about offshoring being largely confined to manufacturing.  But leading experts have estimated that between 28 and 42 million American jobs in the service sector may be offshored in the next few years."

Democrats were successful today in blocking attempts by Republicans to kill H. Res. 717.  The Committee will be forced to revisit the legislation in the coming days.


News from the House Science and Technology Committee
2321 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, DC 20515
tel: (202) 225-6375 | fax: (202) 225-3895
SciTech@mail.house.gov | Contact us Online

Bart Gordon, Chairman
http://science.house.gov/

 

Subcommittee Quick Links
[technology]  [energy]  [oversight]  [research]  [space]

technology and innovation

energy and environment

Investigations and Oversight

research and science education

space and aeronautics

Last Updated