Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today requested a study from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) on issues related to offshore IT services outsourcing.  Smith was joined on the letter by Congressman Jay Inslee (D-Wash.).

“With our unemployment rate continuing to climb and the recession continuing, we must develop a new jobs plan and an industrial plan for the nation.  We need to know where the new jobs are going to be.  We need to know where the high skill jobs are right now.  We’re investing in retraining for workers who are looking to upgrade their skills for the New Economy and we want to make sure that we’re steering them towards industries where there will be jobs in the future,” said Smith.  “I’m requesting this GAO study today specifically to look at the costs and risks associated with offshore IT services outsourcing because it has become increasingly common for U.S. organizations to outsource IT services overseas, generally because of perceived cost savings and to enhance competitiveness in a global economy.  But I’m concerned that we may be training individuals at home for jobs that are being sent overseas and I want to make sure that we better understand this issue.”

Smith’s request to the GAO is part of a larger effort he is undertaking to examine the U.S. job market and future growth and trends in industrial sectors.  His request asks GAO to:

(1) research the trends in this area, to include customer service technical employees, aerospace engineering employees, among other industries, as well as those at the various levels of government;

(2) identify the major benefits and risks, including strategies for addressing the risks;

(3) determine the federal government’s policies, including the impact, if any, of the Buy American Act, for non-weapons systems related to this issue;

(4) explain the treatment of IT outsourcing in U.S. trade policy; and

(5) provide policy recommendations for ensuring – and enhancing – U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace. 

Congressman Adam Smith is a co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition and represents Washington state’s 9th District.  He has consistently fought for policies to expand the New Economy and empower all Americans to succeed in it, supporting investment in research and development, meaningful unemployment compensation, health care, and retraining programs.