Dollars and Jens
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
global trade
An Indian company is putting a call center in Ohio.
Multinational corporations, of course, have been hanging shingles in the U.S. for years. According to the Organization for International Investment, firms headquartered abroad employ 5.1 million Americans in their U.S. offices. But while these jobs have typically been in manufacturing (think German carmakers' factories in the South), the mix is changing, and more companies are finding that hiring Americans offers distinct advantages. Some companies feel hearing a fellow American makes callers feel more comfortable. Other foreign firms think Americans bring a more entrepreneurial attitude to their work. In Expedia's case, its call-center workers need a firm grasp on U.S. geography.
Of those three reasons at the end of the paragraph, two apply primarily to serving American consumers, so ultimately don't really count as exports, but the "entrepreneurial attitude" is something at which the American workforce is second to perhaps no developed nation and few undeveloped nations, and our human capital is quite attractive in other reasons. We shouldn't be so insecure as to think we have nothing to offer the world.

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