I'm in basic agreement with the undeserved rap offshore outsourcing "enjoys", fanned somewhat by mainstream media. Generally, when each of two economies specialize in the area in which it has a comparative advantage, and then engage in crossborder trade, both economies enjoy the benefit of increased overall welfare of the population. Outsourcing is just one form of this principle in action.
Lawmakers, on the other hand, often have two other priorities which trump economic reality: (1) How can we confiscate (er, um, sorry....'obtain'
) more funds to feed our spending programs? (2) Populism.
To picture the latter, first imagine walking into any random gathering of, say, 100 people. Ask how many have ever cracked open an Econ 101 text. If you're lucky, maybe 4 hands go up. Now ask how many think offshoring of US jobs is generally harmful and should be restricted by legislation. The 4 hands come down; the other
96 go up. Now if you're a politician who's primary motivation is getting elected, what kind of song are you going to sing to the people regarding outsourcing? (Of course, after you're elected, you'll have those same 96 people--the ones who voted for your 'anti-outsourcing' platform--griping that their computers cost 10- to 30% more than they should; schools can't afford as many as before; etc, etc; naturally, you'll blame it on "the policies of the previous administration".)
Generally, if you let the markets operate relatively unobstructed, they will efficiently decide where and by whom goods and services should be produced / provided, with the result of optimizing the welfare of all
Outsourcing is therefore neither inherently bad or inherently good--it's situation-specific. In Logan's illustration, for example, if the local producers have a cost advantage vis-a-vis the non-locals, due to transportation / storage issues, then all other things equal, the non-locals won't be able to compete for long.