HP, IBM, Sun Execs Blast Obama's Protectionist Policy - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
3/19/2009
05:26 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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HP, IBM, Sun Execs Blast Obama's Protectionist Policy

While touring India this week, execs from Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun criticized the Obama administration's anti-outsourcing policies as unrealistic, claiming they fly in the face of the global economy and will not produce positive results.

While touring India this week, execs from Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun criticized the Obama administration's anti-outsourcing policies as unrealistic, claiming they fly in the face of the global economy and will not produce positive results.Noting that HP has far-flung labs in India, Costa Rica, and Europe, HP senior VP Marius Haas said, "It's a competitive economy and you go where the talent is," according to the Economic Times of India. Haas, who leads HP's ProCurve business, also said, "The local sourcing push by the U.S. administration is unlikely to be effective in a globalised world."

IBM's Edward Orange, emphasizing that IBM manufactures products and delivers services in 170 countries, echoed Haas's point: "IBM goes wherever the talent and the market is." Orange is the Asia-Pacific director for IBM's Lotus unit, the article said.

Sun's Joe Hartley was even more blunt: "The policy may shrink global trade in the long run. Not every job can be outsourced. But a job has to be done at the right place and at the right time," according to the Economic Times, which also offered these statistics:

Indian subsidiaries of U.S. companies such as IBM, Sun, Microsoft, Oracle, and HP together employ over 150,000 people. IBM, which has more than 70,000 employees in India, sees no merit in U.S. government's protectionist policies.

This blog has pointed out on multiple occasions the near-impossibility of President Obama's desire to re-establish in today's interdependent global economy the outdated concept of "our jobs" and the supposed benefit of somehow attempting to sequester them within U.S. borders. And the blunt talk from these leading global IT corporations, which happen to be based in the United States, will surely intensify the debate over potentially disastrous protectionist policies.

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