During a February speech in Toledo, Ohio, Mitt Romney blasted China for taking American jobs. “They’ve been able to put American businesses out of business and kill American jobs,” Romney said. And that was certainly not the only time that Romney lamented that jobs, specifically in manufacturing, have been moving to China.
“Thirty years ago, America was overwhelmingly the largest manufacturing economy in the world,” he said during a speech in Nevada last year. “This year, China is slated to pass us.” Romney’s jobs plan is also heavy on anti-China rhetoric.
But as the Washington Post reported, Bain Capital, the private equity firm that Romney headed, played its own part in sending jobs to low-wage countries, including China. In fact, Bain “invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India.”
In one example, Bain was the largest shareholder in a company called Modus Media, which “specialized in helping companies outsource their manufacturing“:
Modus Media told the SEC it was performing outsource packaging and hardware assembly for IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Computer Corp. The filing disclosed that Modus had operations on four continents, including Asian facilities in Singapore, Taiwan, China and South Korea, and European facilities in Ireland and France, and a center in Australia. [...]
According to a news release issued by Modus Media in 1997, its expansion of outsourcing services took place in close consultation with Bain. Terry Leahy, Modus’s chairman and chief executive, was quoted in the release as saying he would be “working closely with Bain on strategic expansion.”.
Other companies that Bain invested in sent jobs all over the world, including to Ireland and Mexico, while Romney has tried to claim that Bain was all about creating jobs and turning around American companies that otherwise would have gone under.
As one of Romney’s former partners put it,”I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation…The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.” And that’s what Bain did, even if it meant helping companies move operations to the same country Romney now blasts for stealing American jobs.