Entries in Outsourced (4)


Presidential Candidates Claim Ignorance on Foreign-Made T-Shirts

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presidential candidates are pitching plans to revive the economy, selling a message of jobs and growth. But when it comes to what they are buying, ABC News found that four of the eight candidates ABC News investigated are selling merchandise made overseas.

Campaign T-shirts for Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain were all made outside the United States.

Some of Gingrich's T-shirts were made in El Salvador. When he was shown the shirt and asked for an explanation, Gingrich deflected responsibility.

"I didn't order it. I didn't do it," he said. "I have to ask the folks that ordered this."

A spokesman for Gingrich's campaign told ABC News that the shirts were a rush order mistake and that it's the campaign's preference to buy American.

ABC News also caught up with Cain who, like Gingrich, claimed ignorance.

"No, I wasn't aware it was made in Honduras," Cain said. "I was just aware it was Fruit of the Loom... which is an American company."

Santorum and Paul used the opportunity to make political statements.

"It's tragic that so many products in this country are made outside of this country," said Santorum. "You probably can find a T-shirt occasionally made here in the United States...but it's harder and harder to do."

Paul was unapologetic that his campaign's T-shirts were made in El Salvador.

"I wasn't aware of it...but I wouldn't change it," said Paul. "I would argue the case that the market should determine it."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Home Depot Accused of Violating 'Buy American Act'

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Home Depot is the target of a lawsuit for allegedly selling goods manufactured in China and other prohibited countries to U.S. government agencies in violation of the Buy American Act, according to court documents.

The suit was filed in 2008 by two employees of another government contractor and alleges that "Home Depot had major sourcing operations in China for many years," as well as India, and that the company knew that certain brands and products were to be excluded from sale to U.S. government agencies because they were not compliant with the Trade Agreements Act.

The suit also says, "Home Depot affirmatively misrepresented to federal government customers that its GSA-scheduled contract 'covered everything in our store.'"

GSA is the federal General Services Administration, which supplies products for U.S. government offices.

The Buy American Act and Trade Agreements Act work together to promote the purchase of U.S. goods or goods manufactured in countries when it serves the nation's economic interest.

The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer, with more than 2,200 locations in four countries (including China), denies the allegations.

"We would never knowingly sell prohibited goods under any circumstances, and we have been cooperating with the government to provide requested information," Home Depot spokesman Ron wrote in a statement.  "We believe the plaintiffs have an inaccurate view of the facts, so we look forward to presenting our side of this case as the process moves forward."

The plaintiffs' attorney, Paul D. Scott, said, "We're looking forward to having our day in court and having a jury of American citizens decide what they think of this case."

The U.S. Department of Justice had no comment about the allegations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Job Went Overseas? Tough Luck, Says Congress

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Congress on Saturday failed to extend the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which provides aid to some 150,000 workers unemployed because their jobs were outsourced overseas or their company couldn't compete with imported goods. In the past two years, about 360,000 Americans have qualified for TAA benefits, which include reimbursement for schooling and retraining costs to find jobs in a new and different industry.

The benefits paid vary by state, but an average worker enrolled in a year-long training program gets around $15,000, in addition to what TAA pays for tuition.

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, in a Feb. 9 statement urging Congress to extend the program's benefits, called TAA "an essential lifeline" helping trade-impacted workers get job training, placement assistance and income support needed to help them succeed in "a tough job market."

Originally created in 1974, TAA has been modified and expanded several times. Economist Howard Rosen, executive director of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Coalition and an architect of part of that expansion, says that until a few years ago TAA was "a tiny program" with modest scope. There were only about 50,000 people enrolled in it, and its budget was about a half a billion dollars a year. But as anxieties about job losses due to globalization have increased, the program has expanded.

The biggest changes came in 2009. Up to then, only workers who'd lost jobs in manufacturing could qualify for benefits. After 2009, however, coverage expanded to include service workers and those who lose jobs when their employers shift production overseas. The expansion also gave benefits not just to makers of finished goods but to makers of components. Result: Funding for retraining has almost tripled.

Republican critics of the program, who call it ineffective, have estimated that its continuation would cost $620 million for the remainder of 2011 and $6.5 billion over the next decade.

Extension of the 2009 enhancements came up for a vote in Congress Saturday, but legislators took no action. That outcome was the result of a Byzantine political stalemate, in which extension of TAA was held hostage by Republicans trying to force Democrats to approve a trade deal involving sleeping bags.

What does Congress' inaction mean for people now receiving TAA benefits?

Nothing, says Rosen, for persons already approved and receiving benefits. They can expect to receive 100 percent of what's been promised them. The rub comes for new applicants. It's unclear for now exactly what will happen to them.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


US Company Pulls Jobs from China

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) – A Milwaukee-based company has announced they will bring some three dozen jobs back to the United States from China, where labor unrest has driven wages higher.

Master Lock said the move will bring the total number of workers at their U.S. factory to 379, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The company also cited the increased cost of shipping and a weakened U.S. dollar.
Still, the company’s U.S. workforce is far below what it used to be. Before outsourcing to China and Mexico, 1,300 employees were employed at the Milwaukee facility in the 1990s. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio