India Lodges Trade Complaint Against US

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New Delhi : Trade tension between India and the United States heightened on Friday as New Delhi lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization over steep charge increases for US non-foreigner temporary work visas.

The WTO said in an announcement that India has disputed the multiplying of the expenses for H-1B and L-1 work visas and limits on their numbers. The visas are commonly utilized by a huge number of Indian nationals enlisted by data innovation administrations firms working in the United States.

The complaint comes just days after the United States won a WTO ruling in favor of its challenge to India’s domestic content rules for its solar power subsidy program after months of negotiations failed to produce a settlement.

In its filing, India said the new U.S. visa measures seemed inconsistent with the WTO commitments the United States had made, because the moves treat Indian IT workers in the United States less favourably than their American counterparts. In December, the U.S.

Congress doubled the cost of sponsoring H-1B visas to USD4,000 each and L-1 visas to USD4,500 each as part of a major spending bill. Indian business lobby NASSCOM estimated that would inflate costs for Indian IT export firms by USD400 million a year.

India is upset that the visa fees were raised without consultation. Its USD150 billion outsourcing sector provides about three quarters of the country’s annual revenue from the United States. The outsourcing companies send thousands of staff every year to work at client locations.