Letter to Chairman Manzullo on H-1Bs, L-1s and Outsourcing
June 18, 2003
The Honorable Donald Manzullo
Committee on Small Business
U.S. House of Representatives
2361 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Manzullo:
On behalf of the United States Chamber of Commerce, I am writing to urge caution as your Committee begins examining the effects of the transition of jobs in an international economy, specifically technology and other white-collar jobs.
Outsourcing is a complicated business decision that usually involves many factors. In a down turned economy the pressure on businesses to cut costs, both for their own operations and by their customers, requires difficult choices. When companies are competing in an international market, the inability to effectively manage their workforce can mean the difference between gaining the edge and being put out of business. The result can mean even greater job losses in the long run.
The use of certain categories of visas, such as the H-1B or the L-1, by multinational companies has been an effective means of maintaining that competitive edge. The visas allow companies to manage their global workforce in the most efficient ways, transferring knowledge, skills, management and leadership to the locations that can most benefit. These visas have been the "grease" of international trade and investment for more than thirty years.
While we are aware of, and appreciate, your ongoing support for free trade, at a time when the United States is aggressively seeking to expand free trade agreements, it makes little sense to start creating new barriers.
We would urge you to carefully consider any changes to these programs that would further encourage multinational companies to look elsewhere for investment and trade. In the long run, expansion of international trade and investment in the United States is in the best interests of all.
We look forward to working with you and the Committee to address these difficult issues, and would ask that this letter be included in the hearing record.
Randel K. Johnson
Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits