Neither Washington policymakers nor corporate CEOs are responsible for the growth of outsourcing. The practice has mushroomed over the past 40 years for a variety of reasons, including the worldwide liberalization of trade and investment barriers, improved technology in manufacturing and finance, the appearance of cargo containers and overnight airfreight, and more skilled workers in developing countries.
Moreover, there’s no way of telling how much outsourcing has occurred over the years or what impact it has had on the number of jobs in the U.S. economy. There are some indications that the overall damage has been modest. Many job losses in U.S. manufacturing, for example, have arisen not from outsourcing, but from the rise of robotics and improved technology here.
The truth is, outsourcing will continue no matter who wins the presidency in November.