McCaskill Touts Outsourcing Legislation

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COLUMBIA - Senator Claire McCaskill stopped at MBS Textbooks in Columbia Thursday to announce legislation she hopes will prevent the more than 9,000 call center jobs in Missouri from being outsourced.

The measure would require customer service representatives to alert callers if their calls are being transferred abroad. She said the proposal would provide low-cost encouragement for companies to keep their call centers in the U.S. It would also increase transparency for consumers. The legislation would not include emergency or security-related calls.

In recent years, outsourcing has become a growing fear. According to McCaskill's office, there were 13,000 call center jobs in Missouri in 2007, but only 9,300 in 2009. A 2009 study found the U.S. had lost 250,000 call center jobs to India and the Philippines since 2001. 

At the MBS call center, all calls are answered locally. Director Dora King said doing so allows service representatives to better relate to consumers, as well as stay in closer touch with the company's goals and guidelines.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt issued a statement with this response to the measure.

"Under this administration, American job creators are struggling with billions of dollars in burdensome regulations and the highest global corporate tax rates in the world. I'll take a serious look at this proposal, but in the meantime, we must create more certainty for private sector job creators to succeed and grow right here in America."

McCaskill's announcement comes after spending several weeks on what she called the "Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Tour." Legislation is expected to be drafted in the coming weeks.