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Nasscom to visit US, reach out to Trump's policy makers

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20 January 2017

Amid widespread concerns over the impending policies of Donald J Trump, who is set to take charge as US President on Friday, Nasscom is planning a visit to the US in the next few weeks to reach out to American policymakers and lawmakers.

"We will be taking the earliest possible opportunity to meet lawmakers, policymakers and administration in the US. While specific dates are yet to be worked out, we are looking at February-March timeframe for the visit," Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar told PTI.

He said the IT industry body hopes to highlight and share information with the new US administration on direct jobs created by Indian IT companies in the US, and contribution of Indian IT firms in making the US economy competitive.

He said that according to data available, Indian IT companies have created 4.11 lakh jobs in the US of which 1.5 lakh are direct employment.

Besides job creation, the Indian IT industry has also contributed to the US economy in terms of tax payment, social security outgo and CSR activities.

 "It's a whole new administration. Many people coming in may not have had opportunity to look at different dimensions and the contribution of Indian tech companies," Chandrashekhar said.

The industry has been arguing that corporate America also needs India's technology services, given the shortage of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

"The fact is that according to the US' own statistics, over one million IT-related jobs will remain unfilled in 2018," he said.

Already battling headwinds of a slowing growth, the $150-billion Indian IT industry has been concerned about "creeping" protectionism and negative sentiments in its key markets including the US, which accounts for nearly 60 per cent of its export earnings.

Earlier this month, a bill targeting H-1B visas was reintroduced in the US Congress by two lawmakers who said it will help crack down on the work visa abuse.

Trump, who will be the 45th US President, is known for his hardline stance on protectionism and immigration.

While the industry has tried putting up a brave front, there are deep concerns about tightening of visa norms that will push up the cost of doing business. They have also been bracing up to mitigate the impact and have ramped up local hiring even though the move will eat into their margins.





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