Representatives: Why Was "Taxpayer Money Helping Train Overseas Call Center Competitors"?

Here's an example of a bipartisan catch by lawmakers that actually resulted in a small but key policy change.

Congressman Tim Bishop sent out a release this morning:

In response to concerns raised last week by Congressman Tim Bishop (D-NY) and Walter Jones (R-NC), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has suspended its participation in a Philippines-based program that provided English language instruction to prepare workers for employment in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and other industries.

Bishop and Jones wrote a letter to USAID on April 19 expressing outrage at the program, known as Philippines Growth with Equity in Mindanao, and urging its immediate suspension. Mindanao is the easternmost island in the Philippines Archipelago. In recent years, the Philippines has grown in prominence as an outsourcing destination for white collar jobs, including call center positions that require English language skills.

In their letter, BIshop and Jones noted the although the policy was well-intentioned, its results for American workers are unfortunate, overlapping with the role of "corporate bad actors" in oustourcing. Read more here.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at April 24, 2012, 7:54am

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