Last night’s second presidential debate of the 2012 election was a heated one, and both candidates seemed to be on edge and were ready to throw on the boxing gloves if need be. Towards the end of the debate, both President Obama and Governor Romney were asked about how they would bring jobs back to the US from China, using Apple as the company in question. To say the least, they both had completely different ideologies on the matter.
Candy Crowley, CNN’s chief political correspondent and the moderator during the debate, asked the candidates, “iPad, the Macs, the iPhones, they are all manufactured in China. How do you convince a great American company to bring that manufacturing back here?” Romney answered the question first by stating that the world needs to be on a level playing field and that the US needs to be an attractive place for entrepreneurs.
“The answer is very straightforward. We can compete with anyone in the world as long as the playing field is level. China’s been cheating over the years. One, by holding down the value of their currency. Two, by stealing our intellectual property, our designs, our patents, our technology — there’s even an Apple store in China that’s a counterfeit Apple Store, selling counterfeit goods. They hack into our computers. We will have to have people play on a fair basis, that’s number one. Number two, we have to make America the most attractive place for entrepreneurs, for people who want to expand their business. That’s what brings jobs in.”
Skip to the 1 hr, 30 min mark for the outsourcing question.
Obama answered the question next, and he was actually quite straightforward, and mentioned the cold, hard truth about outsourced jobs in China, saying that those jobs simply aren’t coming back to the US anytime soon. However, Obama also mentioned that he wanted the US to have high-wage, high-skilled jobs rather than the manufacturing jobs that you’d find in China.
“Candy, there are some jobs that are not going to come back, because they are low wage, low skill jobs. I want high wage, high skill jobs. That’s why we have to emphasize manufacturing. That’s why we have to invest in advanced manufacturing. That’s why we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got the best science and research in the world.”
President Obama definitely had a leg up on the question, though. He actually got to talk to former Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself about oversea jobs and whether or not they could be brought back to the US. Jobs’ answer was the harsh reality, and that low-wage, low-skilled jobs in China simply aren’t coming back to the US.