Candidate for U.S. Senate David Perdue speaks with attendees at a Law Enforcement Cookout in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.
Photo by Bill Clark/Getty

David Perdue: ‘I spent most of my career’ working on outsourcing


Georgia Republican Senate candidate David Perdue told a court in 2005 that he “spent most of my career” working on outsourcing, according to a transcript.

The deposition, unearthed by Politico, included a lengthy exchange in which Perdue, now running against Democrat Michelle Nunn, was asked about “experience with outsourcing.” 

“Yeah, I spent most of my career doing that,” he said.

Elaborating, Perdue described how “[at] Kurt Salmon Associates, some of my experience there was helping footwear companies develop the ability to import shoes from Asia, specifically Taiwan, Korea, China, Indonesia, Malaysia,” Perdue said. He added that “sourcing was my primary responsibility” while working for Sara Lee and Gitano in Asia.

“I dealt with companies from Japan westward all the way to Kenya and Lesotho in Africa, Dubai, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, all points west of Japan,” Perdue said, according to the transcript.

The deposition was in connection to lawsuit over the collapse of Pillowtex, a company Perdue ran briefly from 2002-2003 that ended declaring bankruptcy and laying off over 7,600 workers. 

Perdue, a successful executive at companies like Dollar General and Reebok before his Senate run, has come under fire from his political opponents, first in the Republican primary and now in the general election, over his record on outsourcing. 

In an interview with msnbc in April, Perdue discussed his work moving production overseas while senior vice president at Haggar Clothing Co. in the 1990s, arguing such steps were necessary to compete with rivals who were cutting costs via outsourcing. 

“We fundamentally restructured a company for survival,” Perdue said at the time. “Another way to look at this is we saved a couple thousand jobs.” 

Perdue is ranked as the favorite in the race according to most nonpartisan analysts, but polling in the race has been inconsistent, with most surveys showing a small lead for the Republican. Nunn, the daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, is considered a strong candidate in the right-leaning state.