H-1B visa issue hike will hit India-US defence trade: USIBC

India-US H-1B dispute

Making a significant statement, advocacy group US-India Business Council (USIBC) has said that the recent H-1B visa fee hike would impact India’s purchase of defence equipment from the US as it would affect the country’s IT exports that generates money to buy the American military hardware. “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 US, because India is one of the largest buyers of military hardware in the world,” Mukesh Aghi, President of US India Business Council  said.

Elaborating the impact the on Indian IT sector due to the H-1B visa fees hike, Mr Aghi said: “For India, IT services in the US are slightly over $60 billion. It is the largest export of India into the US.”

“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 US.” Mr Aghi said while replying to a question on the recent discriminatory policies of US against Indian IT companies.

In February, during a Congressional hearing Senator Jeff Sessions and Senator Dick Durbin agreed on the need to reform two temporary work visas, the H-1B and L-1, because corporations allegedely use them to keep wages low and deprive local talent. In 2015, US President Barack Obama had signed a $1.8-trillion spending package, which introduces a hefty $4,000 fee for certain categories of H-1B visa and $4,500 for L-1 visa.




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