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The politics of outsourcing

A Chinese worker rides past a sidewalk billboard advertising Apple's new iPad 2 now on sale in Beijing on July 5, 2011. Despite the iPad 2 clone invasion in China's big cities, the real iPad 2 remains extremely popular in China. Apple is planning to open its fifth store in the country by the end of the year. Chinese vendors are reportedly purchasing iPad displays rejected by Apple to use in iPad clones. UPI/Stephen Shaver
A Chinese worker rides past a sidewalk billboard advertising Apple's new iPad 2 now on sale in Beijing on July 5, 2011. Despite the iPad 2 clone invasion in China's big cities, the real iPad 2 remains extremely popular in China. Apple is planning to open its fifth store in the country by the end of the year. Chinese vendors are reportedly purchasing iPad displays rejected by Apple to use in iPad clones. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Some of the nation's biggest corporations are not up front about where their workforce lives because of politics, the head of a major U.S. trade group said.

Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing said, "outsourcing has become a major lightening rod, and the media coverage they're likely to get is unfavorable," The Washington Post reported Monday.

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Technology giant Apple, pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer and household product company Procter & Gamble are among those that do not divulge how many of their workers are domestic and how many live overseas.

"I don't think they really have anything to hide, but I don't really know the logic of why that's something they don't just put in their annual report," said U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis researcher Ray Mataloni.

Some companies with track records of sending jobs overseas are now advising the government on how to grow more jobs at home.

General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt has said, "If you want to be an admired company, you better know (the figures), you better have accountability and you better think through where the jobs are."

Immelt is the chairman of the President Barack Obama's task force on jobs creation, which has raised some eyebrows, as GE, which does divulge its workforce statistics, has 46 percent of its workers in the United States, down from 54 percent in 2000.

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"Should you listen to the kind of advice these companies have about how to grow the economy when their record and their model indicates they've cut jobs?" asked Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

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