Report: Chamber of Commerce Held Seminars to Promote Outsourcing

After the work that The Center for American Progress’ blog, Think Progress, has done in recent weeks uncovering the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s less than patriotic actions, perhaps the lobbying group should consider removing the “U.S.” from the front of its name and replacing it with “International” or “China.”

Think Progress’ latest allegations levied at the Chamber accusing the group of working directly with Chinese government officials to promote outsourcing among its American membership.

According to the report, Chinese branches of the Chamber have worked directly with the Chinese government to sponsor events in America promoting and even encouraging American companies to ship jobs overseas.

“The Chinese AmCham has worked closely with the U.S. Chamber and the Chinese government to sponsor a series of seminars in America to teach American businesses how to outsource jobs to China (called the China Grassroots Program),” ThinkProgress’ Lee Fang wrote Tuesday.

According to the Chamber’s website, between 2006 and 2007, it hosted at least 16 such events in 14 different states. The events typically feature high-ranking Chinese officials.

It should come as no surprise that the U.S. Chamber is promoting outsourcing. Not only has the organization fought all effort to curtail the act, its president has publicly supported outsourcing as a cheap and efficient way to do business.

But, Think Progress also notes that the Chamber has received tens of thousands of dollars in membership dues from some of Asia’s largest outsourcing companies.

“The Chamber’s anti-American jobs agenda serves not only the profit-seeking of right-wing corporate executives in the United States, but also works to send jobs overseas to outsourcing companies, who are some of the dozens of foreign corporations that pay member dues to the Chamber of Commerce’s 501c(6) account, which is used to fund its political ads,” Think Progress’ Brad Johnson wrote last week.

The Chamber has used that money, along with other cash raised from foreign sources, to fund attack ads on Democrats across the country that oppose outsourcing, according to Think Progress. Overall, the Chamber has raised at least $885,000 from foreign sources to fund its attack ads, which is illegal under U.S. election laws.

Another report, this one conducted by Campaign Money Watch, found that since 1994, 1.4 million jobs were lost due to outsourcing in the nine states the Chamber is advertising significantly in.

“The Chamber is raising foreign corporate money and supporting policies that lead to the outsourcing of American jobs overseas,” said David Donnelly, the group’s director. “The 31 Senate and House candidates who are benefiting from political spending by the pro-outsourcing Chamber should address the controversy surrounding their foreign funding.”

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