International

H-1B issue will hit India-U.S. defence trade, says USIBC chief

“If India’s export gets impacted because of H-1B issue, then it would have an impact on India’s purchase of defence equipment from the U.S., because India is [one of] the largest buyer [of military hardware in the world],” says Mukesh Aghi, president of U.S. India Business Council.

“If India’s export gets impacted because of H-1B issue, then it would have an impact on India’s purchase of defence equipment from the U.S., because India is [one of] the largest buyer [of military hardware in the world],” says Mukesh Aghi, president of U.S. India Business Council.  

Discriminatory policies against Indian firms that have invested over $19 billion in U.S. will reduce the many jobs generated by them: Mukesh Aghi.

The doubling of H-1B visa fee would impact India’s purchase of defence equipment from the United States as the move would affect the country’s IT exports that generate money to buy the American military hardware, a top American industry advocacy group has warned.

“If India’s export gets impacted because of H-1B issue, then it would have an impact on India’s purchase of defence equipment from the U.S., because India is [one of] the largest buyer [of military hardware in the world],” Mukesh Aghi, president of U.S. India Business Council told PTI.

Largest such export of India

“For India, IT services in the U.S. are slightly over $60 billion. It is the largest export of India into the U.S.,” he said.

“And if it [India] does not earn foreign exchange then how it will pay. So I think, it does have an impact directly or indirectly on job creation in the U.S.,” Mr. Aghi said responding to a question on the recent discriminatory policies of U.S. against Indian IT companies.

‘Indian firms have invested $19-billion in U.S.’

Indian companies, he said, had invested over $19 billion in the United States creating large amounts of jobs.

“Secondly the [Indian] IT workers do make U.S. companies much more competitive on a global basis. And a classic example is the banking industry in the U.S. after the 2008 financial crisis -- a big chunk of our work is being done by Indian companies and they become world-class more strongly,” he said.

‘Discriminatory penalty’

“We are very much against the imposition of this discriminatory penalty on Indian companies,” Mr. Aghi said in response to a question.

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled another hearing on ‘Impact of High Levels of Immigrations on U.S. Workers’ This is the second such similar hearing in less than a fortnight.

The hearing has been convened by Senator Jeff Sessions, Chairman of the Senate subcommittee on Immigration and National Interest of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Sessions had recently endorsed Donald Trump the Republican presidential frontrunner.

Reform of H-1B, L-1 visas

During a Congressional hearing on February 25, Senator Jeff Sessions and Senator Dick Durbin agreed on need to reform two temporary work visas, the H-1B and L-1, because corporations use them to keep wages low.

Last year, U.S. President Barack Obama had signed into law a $1.8-trillion spending package which among other things introduces a hefty $4,000 fee for certain categories of H-1B visa and $4,500 for L-1 visa.

Fee on Indian firms that create jobs

Companies having more than 50 employees and having more than 50 per cent of their U.S. employees on H-1B and L-1 visas would have to pay the new fee when the next visa application session kicks off on April 1.

India alleged that the recent U.S. measures “appear to raise the overall barriers for service suppliers from India seeking entry into the United States.”

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 3:06:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/h1b-issue-will-hit-indous-defence-trade-usibc-chief/article8336169.ece

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