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10 facts you should know about outsourcing

Offshoring remains one of the most pressing economic issues of the presidential campaign, but concrete solutions appear as elusive as ever. President Bush White House advisers have defended the practice of sending jobs overseas as economically sound, though President Bush himself has been uncharacteristically mum on the issue. Democratic challenger John Kerry continues to call for federal contract work to be performed by American workers "wherever possible." To help U.S. workers find better, higher-paying jobs, Bush has proposed doubling the number of people served by a major job training program and increasing funds for community colleges. And on Oct. 22, he signed a bill that encourages Senator Kerry companies to reinvest money earned abroad in the United States by temporarily taxing repatriated income at a low rate. Kerry also proposed such a temporary tax holiday, but his campaign criticized the new law because it allows companies to defer taxes on overseas income. The Massachusetts senator also says he would end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Below are 10 key facts you should know about the issue. (Click on each to find out more.) * 1 Dozens of measures have been proposed to limit offshoring, but few have become law. Click here * 2 The Department of Labor expects demand for software engineers to grow 50 percent by 2012. Click here * 3 Billions of federal dollars are allocated for retraining, but the funds are often misdirected. Click here * 4 In recent years, Finland and Japan invested more than the United States in technology research. Click here * 5 The big question for companies is whether they will outsource work on intellectual property. Click here * 6 U.S. companies fear security problems such as extortion and theft of trade secrets. Click here * 7 Miscommunication, mismanagement and other problems can cut into labor cost savings. Click here * 8 Some researchers estimate a return of $1.12 to $1.14 for every dollar spent on outsourcing. Click here * 9 Despite India's recent technology boom, most of the country remains steeped in poverty. Click here * 10 The United States still outspends other nations in research and development but has relatively less to show for it.