The controversial issue of ban on outsourcing by Ohio State and the arbitrary hike in H1-B and L1-A and L1-B by the Obama administration will figure prominently during the visit of Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma to the U.S., beginning Monday.

Mr. Sharma, who will reach Washington on Tuesday to take part in the Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meeting, will raise the outsourcing ban and visa fee hike issues at his meetings with U.S. officials and lawmakers.

Protectionist move

Mr. Sharma had last week termed the U.S. move on visa fee hike as discriminatory and regressive. During the visit, Mr. Sharma is scheduled to meet U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and interact with a host of top business heads in America.

The increase in visa fee is estimated to put an additional burden of $200 million annually on Indian IT firms. The U.S. government has increased visa fee by $2,000 for certain H-1B visas and $2,250 for L-1A and L-1B visas.

The visa hike was followed by another protectionist move with the Ohio State banning offshore outsourcing by government departments. India has aired its concern over this latest move and said this could prove to be counterproductive and might affect the recovery of the global economy.

According to an official statement here, Mr. Sharma will visit Chicago on September 20.

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