October 26, 2004 3:54 PM PDT

Kerry report: Economy 'threatened' by offshoring

Software programmers and other professionals hurt by outsourcing should get federal assistance, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Tuesday in a new position paper.

Kerry's paper also repeats a number of his ideas for keeping high-paying jobs in America in the face of the offshore-outsourcing trend, in which skilled work is sent to lower-wage countries such as India. The paper, published one week before the presidential election, is the latest move by Kerry to attack President Bush on economic matters. Bush has been quiet on the specific topic of shipping work abroad, but his advisers have defended so-called "offshoring" as healthy for the economy.

Kerry's new paper argues that the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program should be expanded to cover white-collar workers displaced by outsourcing. The program, which gives workers up to two years of income support and training services if they lose their jobs to foreign competition, currently does not cover all technology professionals.

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