A bipartisan group of six US lawmakers has introduced legislation in the Congress that would make it tough for companies to outsource their call centers overseas including India.
Introduced by Congressman Tim Bishop, the "US Call Center and Consumer Protection Act of 2013," bars corporations that send US call-center jobs overseas from receiving federal grants and loans.
Among other co-sponsors of the bill are Dave McKinley, Chris Gibson, Gene Green, Mike Grimm, and Mike Michaud. A similar legislation sponsored by Bishop in 2011 attracted 135 bipartisan cosponsors in the House of Representatives but was denied a floor vote by House Leadership.
The legislation requires overseas call center employees to disclose their location to US consumers and gives customers the right to be transferred to a US-based call center upon request.
Under the legislation, the US Department of Labour would track firms that move call center jobs overseas; the firms would then be ineligible for any direct or indirect federal loans or loan guarantees for three years.
A new provision in the updated version of the bill would allow companies who return call center jobs to the US to be restored to eligibility for taxpayer assistance.
"If you bet against America and outsource jobs, American taxpayers turn their back on you--it's that simple. Our strong bipartisan coalition speaks with one voice, only good corporate citizens who grow jobs in America deserve taxpayer support," Bishop said.
"This legislation creates a disincentive for companies to ship our jobs overseas," McKinley said.
"Our number one priority in Congress is not only creating but keeping American jobs, and this bill could help save thousands of them, we should not mandate that companies keep all of their call centers here in America and we also don't have to help them finance the off-shoring of American jobs by providing them with federal funds," he said.
The US Call Center and Consumer Protection Act is supported by 700,000-member Communications Workers of America.
According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study 83 per cent of outsourcing companies in India it surveyed had information security breaches during the previous year.
"Indian call center companies are also sub-outsourcing work to developing countries with potentially corrupt or unstable governance, like Egypt, Mexico, the Czech Republic, China and Thailand complicating efforts to identify and prosecute fraud," said a statement issued by the Bishop's office.