Call center site selection strategies could be in for a change if the U.S. Call Center and Consumer Protection Act makes its way through Congress. The Act failed its first attempt in 2017; however, with Democrats controlling the House of Representatives and Republicans riding the protectionism and job creation bandwagon, this bipartisan legislation could gain some momentum this time. To help understand the impact on call center site selection strategies and the estimated 3.6 million call center jobs in the U.S., Site Selection Group reviewed the legislation and assessed the situation to help companies develop the optimal location strategy for their call centers.
What is the Call Center and Consumer Protection Act?
The bill was written to deter companies from sending U.S. call center jobs nearshore and offshore. In addition, it incentivizes companies to locate in the U.S. by creating a “blacklist” of companies sending call center jobs offshore. The following provides a summary of the its provisions:
Politicians continue to build their case to support the bill
The bill is mostly supported by Democrats and some Republicans as well as unions like the Communications Workers of America (CWA). It claims to be bipartisan but appears to be leaning a little more on the side of Democrats.
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) recently commented on the bill stating, “When corporations offshore American jobs, our communities and workers suffer the consequences, just so corporations can pay lower wages than what workers in the U.S. make. The U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act is smart policy – supported by both Republicans and Democrats – that will help keep call center jobs in the U.S. and help prevent the loss of economic activity in communities across the country. We must do more to support American workers and our economy, and we can start by ensuring that corporations that ship jobs overseas aren’t rewarded with federal grants and loans.”
Another congressman across the aisle, Rep. David McKinley (R-West Virginia), explained, “Protecting and creating American jobs should be Congress’ top priority. Plain and simple, we should not be rewarding companies for moving jobs offshore. This bill does not mandate that companies keep call centers here in America, but simply says if you move call center jobs offshore, you don’t receive funding from the government. This should be common sense.”
How will this impact your call center location decisions?
There are multiple ways the proposed bill would impact companies sending call center volume offshore. The following summarizes some of the positive and negative implications:
Considering this proposed legislation failed to get approval in 2017 is a sign that there will be similar roadblocks today. The risk exists that the bill, if passed, could destabilize the call center industry and increase costs for consumers. The desire to keep jobs in the U.S. is laudable, but at what cost does it make sense? I guess we will have to leave it to the politicians to make that decision.