Thursday, July 8, 2010 | Outsourcing News |
A recently proposed anti-offshoring bill by US Senator Charles Schumer has recently come under criticism by the Filipino-American community. The Schumer Bill, which enforces taxes on businesses that practice offshoring, could hinder what’s been known in the Philippines as its sunshine industry. Filipino-American community members recently visited the capital in an effort to voice their opinions regarding the bill.
The Schumer Bill, which puts a 25-cent tax on every call made to a contact center based outside the US, was proposed with hopes that offshoring customer calls to offshore agents will ultimately cease to become the most cost-effective option. Should a call be answered offshore, the bill mandates that the agent state the location from which the call is serviced. India and the Philippines, which enjoy the majority of the global contact center outsourcing pie, have players in their respective economies that will stand to lose most should the bill be enacted.
NaFFAA (National Federation of Filipino American Associations) member Loida Lewis reportedly told the Asian Journal that Sen. Gillibrand has agreed to speak to Sen. Schumer in an effort to convince him of the negative impact of such an act. The NaFFAA reportedly sent a letter to the senator claiming that the bill was not in the best interests of the long-standing mutual relationship between the US and its former colony.
Philippine Trade Commissioner and California resident Josephine Romero was quoted as saying that American citizens are “fighting the highest unemployment rate in California”. The decision regarding the anti-offshoring petition, she added, should be left to the companies themselves because they are accountable for their shareholders. The companies, she continued, have a duty to examine the effect of a tariff on customer service and its effects on a company’s ability to provide quality customer care services.
Outsourcing companies based in the US have also opposed the bill, claiming it is an act of protectionism. Hit Rate Solutions operations director Adam Shore commented that the bill showed “no clear understanding of outsourcing or business operations”. He further added that it can potentially hurt global firms not just in the US but around the globe as more and more outsourcing locations have developed following the rapid growth of the contact center outsourcing and offshoring industry.
According to Shore, Schumer may not be aware of just how dependent companies small and large have become on offshore service providers that can now offer a seamless customer service experience at significantly lower costs.