Indian tech firms are busy developing an early plan to counter attacks that could be made on them in the run-up to the next US presidential elections to be held in November 2008. It’s a smart move. The last time around, John Kerry had trained his guns on Indian firms and claimed that they were causing job losses in the US. Hil- lary Clinton, who is likely to be in the running in 2008, has already made some silly remarks about how foreigners own too much of America’s debt.
The lobbyists, who will be engaged to douse populist fires, should focus on balance of payments data. It shows that India earned an outsourcing surplus of $10 billion in 2003 (the last year for which such data is available). This means that our earnings from outsourcing were $10 billion more than our spending on it. Interestingly, the US too has an outsourcing surplus—of $17 billion. This is something Americans need to be told—before the politicians have their say.