October 17, 2012 - 14:11 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The latest U.S. presidential debate covered largely familiar ground, as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney traded jabs over hot-button issues such as immigration, tax plans, and foreign policy. The discourse became more pointed toward the end, however, when moderator Candy Crowley confronted both candidates about the outsourcing of tech manufacturing jobs, The Verge reports.
"iPad, the Macs, the iPhones, they are all manufactured in China," Crowley said, citing low labor costs as a primary driver. "How do you convince a great American company to bring that manufacturing back here?"
Romney, taking the floor first, responded with the following: "The answer is very straightforward. We can compete with anyone in the world as long as the playing field is level. China's been cheating over the years. One, by holding down the value of their currency. Two, by stealing our intellectual property, our designs, our patents, our technology - there's even an Apple store in China that's a counterfeit Apple Store, selling counterfeit goods. They hack into our computers. We will have to have people play on a fair basis, that's number one. Number two, we have to make America the most attractive place for entrepreneurs, for people who want to expand their business. That's what brings jobs in.”
Obama, in rebuttal, was surprisingly blunt, effectively dismissing the premise altogether: "Candy, there are some jobs that are not going to come back," he said. "Because they are low wage, low skill jobs. I want high wage, high skill jobs. That's why we have to emphasize manufacturing. That's why we have to invest in advanced manufacturing. That's why we've got to make sure that we've got the best science and research in the world."
Turning the issue into a springboard, the president then made his case for greater government involvement, arguing that investments in research and science are critical to creating "the next Apple" here in the U.S. "If we're not training engineers to make sure that they are equipped here in this country, then companies won't come here," Obama explained. "Those investments are what's going to help to make sure that we continue to lead this world economy, not just next year, but 10 years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now."