Ohio ban to be "sticky issue" during Obama visit: Montek | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Ohio ban to be "sticky issue" during Obama visit: Montek

delhi Updated: Sep 14, 2010 22:19 IST

Ban on outsourcing in Ohio state and protectionist build-up in the US would be a "sticky issue" during US President Barack Obama's visit here in November, Plan panel Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said on Tuesday.

"This is certainly a sticky issue," Ahluwaila said when asked by a TV channel whether the protectionist measures in the US would be a contentious subject during Obama's forthcoming visit.

He admitted that India does not have a case against the ban on outsourcing by Ohio in the World Trade Organisation because "we are not members of the Agreement of Government Procurement (GPA)".

GPA is the only legally binding agreement under the WTO dispensation. While the US is its member, India only has an 'observer status'.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has banned offshore outsourcing by government departments.

Besides, the the Federal Government has increased professional visa fees significantly to fund a $ 600 million programme to secure its border with Mexico.

Montek indicated America was facing political compulsions ahead of the Congress elections in November. "US is not used to unemployment getting over 10 per cent. They (US) are heading into ...elections, it will be a major issue" he told private television channel NDTV 24X7.

Ahluwalia said that outsourcing is no different from trade. About his discussions with the US officials, he said,"I have pointed out that we understand their political compulsions. But they should be very clear that the restrictive action on outsourcing will be watched very carefully in India".

He said that outsourcing is no different from trade.

In the run-up to the Obama visit,India will formally take up the issue of protectionism at the bilateral Trade Policy Forum in Washington on September 21.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will co-chair the TPF meeting with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.