Analyzing the U.S. Content of Imports and the Foreign Content of Exports
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Mass media has frequently covered stories concerning "outsourcing" or the moving of U.S. jobs to foreign locations by U.S. multinational companies. More often than not this "outsourcing" is of benefit to the companies' owners and managers. The discussion has spilled over into the political debate with candidates for national office making statements and suggesting policies for dealing with the issue.

Due to the fact that many companies have fragmented the production process, however, it is difficult to examine the effect of "outsourcing"â€" the transfer of a business function from inside a firm to an outside source, with no reference to borders of countriesâ€" and "offshoring"â€"the movement of jobs that had been in the United States to a foreign location, without regard to business ownershipâ€" on the U.S. as many imports contain U.S. parts and many exports contain foreign parts.

In the current situation, Congress mandated a study by the National Research Council, which was undertaken by the Committee on Analyzing the U.S. Content of Imports and the Foreign Content of Exports under a contract with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Analyzing the U.S. Content of Imports and the Foreign Content of Exports presents the findings of the committee.The committee refers to the availability and quality of data on the foreign content of U.S. exports and the domestic content of U.S. imports as "the content question." This was not been an easy task as data on actual content simply do not exist.


  • Industry and Labor — Economics

Publication Info

76 pages | 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-309-10131-8
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National Research Council. Analyzing the U.S. Content of Imports and the Foreign Content of Exports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006.

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