Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) announced today that the General Accounting Office (GAO) has approved his request to conduct a study on issues relating to offshore outsourcing of information technology jobs and the future of the U.S. job market.

"I'm extremely pleased that the GAO agrees that this is a critically important issue that should be thoroughly examined," Smith said.  "I'm very eager to see the study's findings and use them to improve public policy."

Smith’s request to the GAO, submitted on July 17 of this year, 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.

Over the next several months, Smith will work closely with the GAO as it defines the scope and issues of the study before beginning the research and analysis.

"We anticipate receiving some results early next spring," Smith said.  “I believe a thorough analysis of these outsourcing and job growth trends will help us better understand what's really happening in terms of offshore outsourcing of information technology jobs.  Most importantly, however, the analysis will help us develop policies that will ensure the United States continues to be competitive and always have high-skilled, high-wage jobs."