Job outsourcing helps U.S. companies be more competitive in the global marketplace. It allows them to sell to foreign markets with overseas branches. They keep labor costs low by hiring in emerging markets with lower standards of living. That lowers prices on the goods they ship back to the United States.
The main negative effect of outsourcing is it increases U.S. unemployment. The 14 million outsourced jobs are almost double the 7.5 million unemployed Americans. If all those jobs returned, it would be enough to also hire the 5.7 million who are working part-time but would prefer full-time positions.
That assumes the jobs could, in fact, return to the United States. Many foreign employees are hired to help with local marketing, contacts and language. It also assumes the unemployed here have the skills needed for those positions. Would American workers be willing to accept the low wages paid to foreign employees? If not, American consumers would be forced to pay higher prices.
Donald Trump said he would bring jobs back during the 2016 presidential campaign. To do this, he would renegotiate NAFTA. He also threatened to impose tariffs on imports from Mexico and China. That would raise the prices of products made in those countries. That benefit companies that make all their products in America. Without tariffs, it can be difficult for American-made goods to compete with cheaper foreign goods.
Imposing laws to artificially restrict job outsourcing could make U.S. companies less competitive. If they are forced to hire expensive U.S. workers, they would raise prices and increase costs for consumers.
The pressure to outsource might lead some companies to even move their whole operation, including headquarters, overseas. Others might not be able to compete with higher costs and would be forced out of business.