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'Trump is biz man,would like to do deals with India'

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

New Delhi: The US is keen on striking deals with India that are in the interest of both the nations as it reassesses Indo-US policies to create jobs for Americans, according to an American Congressional delegation.

"United States has brand new President who is a different kind of President in our country. This is the first President who has no previous government, political experience. He is a businessman. He would like to do deals. He wants to do deals with India and other countries around the world," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said.

He was speaking to reporters after the meeting of 22-member US delegation, which included both Republican and Democrat members, with Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The issue of H1B visa was also discussed during the meeting.

"He (Trump) is also assessing what deals US has done in the past are good and what may not be so good. He wants to make sure that as he does that, and as Congress works to advance the interest of constituents and create jobs in US, we want that it is done right so that it can benefit both US and India and other countries," Goodlatte said.

He said that at this point of time they are not in position to say what all those policies would be.

"... we completely acknowledge right of US Congress and political leadership to reassess and reappraise but also keep the fact in the mind the kind of value the Indian minds, the Indian talents has contributed in making American companies more competitive and creating jobs and also creating revenue," Prasad said.

The proposed overhaul of popular H-1B visa regime by the Trump administration has raised concerns among Indian IT firms, as any change in the visa regime may result in higher operational costs and shortage of skilled workers for the USD 110-billion Indian outsourcing industry.

"We are both concerned about the importance of training our young people and creating opportunities for them and that is why we work together to create those opportunities. Certainly technology is a method of doing so.

"I will also say that as a great large democracy that India is and as we are the oldest democracy, I want to reinforce that partnerships of believing in democratic values," Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas's 18th Congressional District, said.

Indian IT sector provides employment to around 3.7 million people and is one of the largest private sector employers. It contributes 9.3 per cent to the country's GDP.

An official source said that government has asked IT industry body Nasscom to lobby in the US to highlight the contribution of IT companies to the US economy.

According to sources, the US delegation raised issue of copyright, Intellectual property rights and difference in pay between US and Indian IT professionals.

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