1. Trump’s H1B visa row: Modi government hits back, says US companies also operate in India

Trump’s H1B visa row: Modi government hits back, says US companies also operate in India

India's veiled attack on the US visa policy might lead to a trade war, which can sour ties that until now has been quite smooth even after Donald Trump's Presidential win.

By: | Updated: April 21, 2017 7:00 PM
h1b visa, h1b visa row, h1b visa us, us visa, us visa indian government, us visa nirmala sitaraman, external affairs, nirmala sitaraman, us h1b visa, us india, india h1b visa, h1b visa row, h1b visa issue, donald trump visa, donald trump h1b visa india, h1b visa impact, h1b visa impact india, h1b visa indian companies, h1b visa it companies, us visa india, us visa tech US President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order to bring about changes in the H1-B visa system which employed high-skilled workers from foreign countries, including India. (Image: IE)

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a veiled threat, has reportedly hit back at the US on the H1B visa issue and said that their companies are in India too. On the US executive order, she has said that it is not only the Indian companies which will get affected but also the US companies who earn profits which go to their economy. She said that all such factors will be included in the ongoing debate. However, Sitharaman also said that the Government will engage with the US and other countries in a constructive way, in order to resolve the visa issues.

Sitharaman, while speaking at the MindMine Summit said that India has already submitted its proposal on Trade Facilitation in Services in WTO and want member countries to study the proposal. She said that India does not believe that globalisation is in retreat as we are linked deeply with other economies. India has reportedly dragged, not only the US but also Australia and New Zealand to the WTO regarding the new nationalistic policies on the movement of foreign professionals. Meanwhile, Sitaraman did not lay out its plans on ways in which India will toughen its stance, yet one of the methods can be to tighten the monitoring process of the money which Indian subsidiaries pay to their parent companies in the US.

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The comments by Sitaraman, came right after Donald Trump rolled out a directive regarding an H1B Visa review, which brings skilled workers from other countries to the US. Trump recently signed an executive order to bring about changes in the H1-B visa system which employed high-skilled workers from foreign countries. Ever since the announcement, there has been a criticism that this move can affect the IT and outsourcing companies in the US. White House had reportedly said that the current US visa programme was damaging American workers as it brought in cheap labour and some of the firms were making use of this to hire a large number of workers.

Also read | From Australia to New Zealand, here’s how Indian workers will be impacted by the visa curbs

The veiled attack on the US policy might lead to a trade war with the US, which can sour ties that until now has been quite smooth even after Donald Trump’s Presidential win. However, Sitaraman’s ‘constructive’ comment might calm the nerves a bit. She also said that India will not accept any treatment that is ‘unfair’. She added that such decisions regarding foreign policies cannot be taken according to the ‘whims’ of countries, and the Prime Minister will take up the issue wherever applicable.

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In a separate event, external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that India is keeping a ‘close watch’ on the US H1B Visa issue. He added that the issue will be taken up with the Trump government as it affects the Indian IT industry. Claiming professionals to be ‘brick builders’ between the countries, Baglay said that there is a mutuality of interests involved and it is not just an immigration issue, rather a ‘trade and services’ problem, PTI reported.

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  1. John Smith
    Apr 21, 2017 at 9:34 pm
    Oh, please. If Indian tech firms had not abused the H1B program there would have been no issue. The H1B program was intended to bring “highly skilled” workers from anywhere on the planet to the USA. Over 80 of the H1Bs are from India. The majority of them are NOT highly skilled/experienced in their discipline. Indians are inexpensive, cheap labor. If this had been about experienced/skilled labor then people would be pouring in across the Canadian boarder - Canada has about 1 of the H1B visa. The USA graduates over 100,000 computer engineers each year, far more than the number of H1B visas. Yet our own graduates can not find jobs. FOLLOW THE MONEY. Corporate is lying about the issues. It's not that we don't have enough computer engineers in the USA. We don't have enough $20/hour engineers.
    1. V
      Apr 21, 2017 at 11:47 pm
      You are only partly correct John. The issue is not how many software engineers you produce every year, its actually how many of them are flexible to work in an offs -onsite business model most of the companies are following. The corporate greed in US is all-time high and senior management in all companies want to offs jobs so that they can get hefty bonuses every year. Not everyone working on H1B is paid low, infact, mark my words, even if the US government increase minimum pay to $130K, its not going to deter Indian companies, because, they make money on the job offs , while the onsite is always either a break-even or even a sunk cost. Another problem is that you want cost of services and products to remain stable, and don't want to outsource, which effectively means you want to eat your cake and have it too.The problem you should be addressing is not services jobs, but manufacturing jobs which all went to China. That's where you can keep most people emplo .
    2. P
      Apr 21, 2017 at 8:55 pm
      India has HUGE trade surplus with USA, is much more dependent on s to USA than USA is dependent on s to India. Author neglected to mention this simple fact Being dependent on foreign s can only bring you so far you must develop internal markets and create more good jobs in India not always go looking for good jobs outside India. Failure to do so puts you at the mercy of foreigners
      1. S
        Apr 21, 2017 at 8:28 pm
        please have India's ITS remain in india, there is no need for them here in USA
        1. S
          Apr 21, 2017 at 6:04 pm
          All the software programmers need to be kicked out of the US. They are cheap low lived indulging in modern day slavery just for paychecks.....

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