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JONES SECURES SUSPENSION OF FEDERAL PROGRAM TRAINING FOREIGN WORKERS TO TAKE AMERICAN JOBS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After last week’s demand by U.S. Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) immediately suspend a program to train workers in the Philippines for jobs in English-speaking call centers, USAID announced late Friday that they are in fact suspending the program. The agency also announced that it has “established a high-level taskforce to review these matters.”
News about the USAID program was initially reported last week in Information Week. In recent years, the Philippines has become a magnet for customer service call centers outsourced by companies in the United States and other English-speaking countries to reduce operating costs. In a letter sent last week to USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Congressman Jones and his colleague Congressman Tim Bishop (NY-1) pointed out that “over 500,000 call center jobs have been outsourced from the United States to foreign shores since 2007. To essentially underwrite our international competitors is short-sighted public policy and a direct threat to our economic competitiveness.”
“For the U.S. government to be borrowing money from China to train people in the Philippines to take our jobs is not only bad policy, it’s insanity,” said Congressman Jones. “I am pleased to learn that USAID has recognized how appalling this is to U.S. taxpayers, and has suspended the program.”
In 2010, Jones and Bishop compelled USAID to abandon a similar high-tech training program for outsourcing industry workers in Sri Lanka, with the agency committing to "conduct a review to ensure the project will not take any jobs away from Americans."
Congressman Jones is a long-time opponent of foreign aid spending. He has voted against every foreign aid appropriations bill in the last 17 years.
Please see PDF below for a copy of Congressman Jones' letter to the USAID Administrator.
For additional information, please contact Catherine Fodor in Congressman Jones’ office at (202) 225-3415.