Barack Obama promised voters four years ago that he would work to slow the outflow of American jobs to other countries, proposing to revamp a federal tax code that encourages companies to maintain overseas operations.
Obama as president has continued to call for rewriting the rules that allow U.S. corporations to avoid paying taxes for a time on income generated overseas.
But the broad tax changes have not happened.
While White House officials say they have been waiting on Congress to act, Obama’s critics, primarily on the political left, say he has repeatedly failed in other ways to protect American jobs from being moved overseas. They point to a range of actions they say he should have taken: confronting China, reining in unfettered trade and reworking a U.S. visa program that critics say ends up sending high-tech jobs abroad.
The issue of overseas outsourcing has returned to the center of the presidential campaign, with Obama hammering the record of Mitt Romney’s financial company. The debate intensified in recent weeks with Obama’s campaign attacking his Republican rival after a Washington Post article reported that Romney’s private-equity firm, Bain Capital, had invested in companies that specialized in helping other firms relocate work overseas.