O is for Outsourcing

Obama campaign bashes Romney for Bain offshoring, employs call center in Canada

June 26, 2012

The Obama campaign spent nearly $4,700 on telemarketing services from a Canadian telemarketing company called Pacific East between March and June, a Washington Free Beacon study of federal election filings shows.

Pacific East is not the only foreign telemarketing firm raking in cash from the president’s reelection campaign. Obama paid a call center in Manila, Philippines $78,314.10 for telemarketing services between the start of the campaign and March.

Pacific East is headquartered in British Columbia, Canada, though the campaign issued more than a dozen checks to a P.O. box located in Washington State—about 1,000 feet from the Canadian border and 9 miles from its headquarters in Canada.

Neither Obama for America nor Pacific East returned requests for comment.

Obama has blasted Republican nominee Mitt Romney as an "outsourcer in chief" after the Washington Post published a story Friday about his private equity firm’s role in outsourcing factory jobs overseas. Vice President Joe Biden blasted Romney Tuesday as a "true believer" in outsourcing while stumping in the former governor’s native Michigan.

Some of Obama’s biggest supporters have endorsed outsourcing as necessary to a healthy world economy. Psycho-historian Paul Krugman, who pens the New York Times blog "Conscience of a Liberal," is a stalwart defender of outsourcing. In the run up to the 2004 election, he criticized Democratic leaders, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, for criticizing the Bush administration on outsourcing.

"Outsourcing is less than a threat than is widely perceived," Krugman said in an interview with The Left Coaster. "The reason it seems so bad right now is we have a generally weak economy and generally poor employment. If that were improved, then we'd have a very different perspective on it and it would require pretty modest steps."

Obama's outsourcing was not limited to telemarketing. The Daily Caller reports that Obama also booked flights through corporate travel company Egencia's Bellevue, Washington office. Egencia maintains a large presence in southeast Asia, including call centers in India and China.