Bush and offshoring: Now what?

Will George Bush's re-election scramble the picture for offshoring?

Will George Bush's reelection make any difference to the future of offshore outsourcing? Probably not. While the Bush administration has followed a fairly protectionist policy during its first term it has been viewed as friendly to free-traders.

Would John Kerry have done significantly more to protect jobs -- to the point where the government put roadblocks in the way of U.S. corporations seeking to transfer jobs across the ocean? Again, not likely. Kerry paid lip service to shore up support from organized labor but he wasn't going to do anything radical. The presidential campaign debate was defined more by style than substance and the discussion about offshoring was no exception.

Now that the election's been decided, what happens? I'm going to pay attention to how the so-called red states react. If their local economies fail to generate enough new jobs to compensate for positions lost overseas, this will become big news. The wisdom of offshore outsourcing may be received gospel among much of the business elite but it's still a radioactive subject with workers -- many of whom pulled the lever for Bush. Unlike so much of the staged sniping that passed for debate between the two candidates, this is a bread & butter issue that may define the future for thousands of lives.

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