I did not make ‘outsourcing a bogeyman’ this time: Obama (Lead)

November 8th, 2010 - 3:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) In a sharp departure from his earlier statements that had voiced concern over American jobs shifting from Buffalo to Bangalore, US President Barack Obama Monday said he never made “outsourcing a bogeyman” during this India visit and asked the businesses of the two sides to shed stereotypes.

“I don’t think you heard me make outsourcing a bogeyman during the course of my visit,” the US president said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,
fielding a question on why India was being targeted when jobs were actually lost to China.

“In fact, I expressly said during my visit to Mumbai, at the business council, that both countries (India and the US), I think, were operating on some stereotypes that’ve outlived their usefullness,” Obama said.

“In every discussion that I have had with Indian businesses what I have seen is that our countries are matched up in a way that allows us enormous win-win potential,” he said.

“Whenever I’m asked about Indians taking away our jobs, I want to say: You know what, they’ve just created 50,000 jobs,” he said, referring to Indo-US commercial deals worth $15 billion announced Saturday that were expected to create 54,000 jobs in the US.

At the same time, he said, by adopting American technologies, Indian businesses will be able to grow and create employment opportunities in India, in all sectors, including infrastructure.

Obama had said in Mumbai that while Americans had faced problems with globalisation resulting in shut factories, there existed a caricature of India as a land of call centres and back-offices that cost US jobs.

“But these old stereotypes, these old concerns ignore today’s reality. In 2010, trade between our countries is not just a one-way street of American jobs and companies moving to India,” Obama had maintained.

Manmohan Singh, in his remarks to the same question, said outsourcing of work to India had helped US companies become more competitive, as also increase their productivity and capacity.

“As far as India is concerned, India is not in the business of stealing jobs from the United States of America.”

The US president has been on a four-day visit to India, which began in Mumbai Saturday. In the national capital, where he arrived Sunday noon, Obama held one-on-one discussions with Manmohan Singh, followed by delegation level talks Monday, among other engagements.

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