Indian tech firms get backing from US trade body
A powerful US trade body on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to ensure current efforts at immigration reforms do not end up discriminating against Indian firms. Yashwant Raj reports.business Updated: May 24, 2013 23:14 IST
A powerful US trade body on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to ensure current efforts at immigration reforms do not end up discriminating against Indian firms. In a letter to the president, the trade body US-India Business Council (USIBC) said, immigrations reforms must not “discriminate against our friends in India.”
“It would be wrong to impose conditions on the recruitment and deployment of... tech-savvy workers which current drafts of legislation foresee,” wrote USIBC chairman Ajay Banga.
The immigration bill prohibits companies staffed with more than 75% H-1B workers from more such hiring in 2014(the caps being 65% in 2015 and 50% in 2016) besides proposing higher fees for H-1B visas.
The immigration reforms bill, now before the senate, severely cramps Indian IT firms’ ability to hire skilled workers from home for their US operations inexpensively — an aspect that was questioned by Microsoft in a senate hearing last month.
India has called these measures protectionist and argued that temporary relocation of professionals for on-site servicing of clients is not an immigration issue.
The bill passed the senate judiciary committee recently, without any mitigation of its anti-India provisions and is now scheduled for a vote in the senate in June.
USIBC’s stand will pit it against some of the titans of US tech industry, which are said to be behind the bill’s provisions.
First Published: May 24, 2013 23:09 IST