Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, March 1, 2004 (Full Transcript)QUESTION: Scott, how does the President believe we can best stop the very serious problem of outsourcing and sending so many American jobs overseas? And what is the reaction to the Clinton $160 million Presidential Library's ordering nearly $1 million worth of cabinets from Scotland?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, you just stated something, I'll let that stand where it is. The President is focused on creating as robust an environment for job creation here at home. Our focus is -- our focus --
QUESTION: But he's focused on jobs --
MR. McCLELLAN: Les, let me finish. Let me finish. Our focus is on creating jobs here at home. And one way to do that is to promote free and fair trade around the world. Free trade is an important part of strengthening our economy and expanding job growth here at home. So the President is committed to opening markets around the world. American workers are the best in the world and they can compete with anybody in the world when there is a level playing field.
I would point out to you that because of the policies that we are pursuing, you have more companies coming to -- foreign companies coming to America, investing here, and hiring American workers because they are the best workers in the world.
And so we will -- we will continue to work to expand trade. We will also make sure that -- and this is important -- we are in a changing economy. We see that our economy is growing strong and continues to pick up steam. But there is more to do. And in a changing economy, we need to make sure that our workers are prepared to fill the jobs of the 21st century. There are a lot of high-growth sectors in our economy, such as the health care sector. And we need to make sure workers are trained with the skills to fill those high-paying, high-skilled jobs. Wages are up. There is still more to do to strengthen our economy, and that's why the President is continuing to urge Congress to act on his six-point plan.
QUESTION: Scott, following on that, if I could? Does the President agree with the argument made by some economists that the effect of outsourcing on the overall job market in America is negligible and may, in fact, lead to more high-paying jobs in this country?
MR. McCLELLAN: John, I think we've been through this issue, when this came up a couple weeks ago, and I think I addressed it at that point.
QUESTION: But since then, some economists are going back and looking at the statements that have been made and saying what's the kerfuffle about, because this really does have a negligible impact on American jobs and may, in fact, lead to the creation of more high-paying jobs here in America.
MR. McCLELLAN: And the President is focused on creating jobs here at home. And I just talked about where our focus is. That's where the President's focus is.
QUESTION: Does the President take some comfort in that argument? Does he agree with that argument?
MR. McCLELLAN: The President believes it's important to create jobs here at home. I'll let economists speak for themselves.