US Congressman allays fears on outsourcing ban

Published on Aug 08, 2003 04:53 PM IST

Jay Inslee said the introduction of certain Bills proposing to curtail outsourcing were more discussion pieces than legislative pieces.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi

US Congressman Jay Inslee on Wednesday sought to downplay India's apprehension over the introduction of a Bill proposing to curtail outsourcing to India.

"The introduction of certain Bills proposing to curtail outsourcing from India are more discussion pieces rather than legislative pieces", Inslee, a Democrat from Washington, said in New Delhi at a CII seminar on outsourcing.

"There are several stages of a legislation -- after introduction, there are hearings, from where it goes to chambers where votings take place, then it goes to the executive for potential veto and I can tell you that none of these stages have come in Washington since the Bill was introduced, he said.

Four American states are considering legislation to ban outsourcing of state data processing contracts to developing nations even as dozens of household names, spanning insurance, banking, technology and telecom, are transferring part of their white collar administrative and customer-service work to Asia, particularly to India, to cut costs.

The States considering the measure to curb flight of jobs are New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut and Washington, The Sunday Telegraph from London had reported on May 25.

However, Inslee called for initiating dialogue and said there was a need to be observant towards the protectionist stand taken by certain quarters in US which he described as a result of growing insecurity within US after the September 11 terrorist strike and recession in the economy.

Advising the governments to stay out of trade and refrain from creating trade barriers, Inslee said most destructive form of government would frame policies prohibiting individuals working as a team.

"Not of all US is of the opinion that such policies would help. We can not hope to sell Microsoft products and Boeing airplanes here unless we give access to India and Indians", Inslee said.

He was optimistic that soon the feeling of protectionism in US would be overwhelmed by sentiments of the growing need of joining India and tapping its market of manpower intellectual capital.

On May 19, a bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives to prevent intra-company job transfers to the clients' site in US under L1 visa.

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