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Protectionism must be resisted: USIBC

June 08, 2009 13:16 IST

Observing that voices of protectionism emanating from the political quarters, is an issue of concern for American businesses, an Indo-US chamber has said it believes that such trends need to be resisted.

"Protectionism is an issue of concern for us. Such an easy political catch word; we need to resist this," said Ron Somers, President, US India Business Council, and argued that outsourcing, global sourcing is enabling US companies remain competitive in the world market.

"For American companies to remain globally competitive, our companies are looking to do business all around the world, accessing best values, best resources and best talents. It is only then that we can create jobs in the US," he said.

When specifically asked about H-1B visa and US President Barack Obama announcing his intention of stopping jobs being outsourced to Bangalore, India, Somers said the Congressional attack on outsourcing, specifically on India, is unfortunate.

"The recent legislations introduced in the United States Senate would severely restrict the flow of high skilled immigrants to the US. We believe this is harmful. It hurts the American competitiveness," he said, adding that the US Chamber is working closely with the elected representatives up on the Hill to resist this campaign rhetoric.

"This is flaming jingoism. This is not doing any of our country any good. So we are very cautious," Somers said.

"This is a newly strong relationship, still requires nurturing. We can't just leave it on auto pilot. We need to continue to foster the goodwill between us. The last thing we need is to have a legislation coming out of the (Capitol) Hill, which points the figure on India. In fact India is not the problem at all," he argued.

Expecting India to recover faster than the US, he said, "Fortunately, India does not has the deeper recession we have and this would help pull our recession faster."

India, however, is not in recession, it is facing a slowdown. Now it is for the US industry to take a more active voice in conveying this message to elected officials.

At the upcoming Synergy Summit of the USIBC to observe its 34th anniversary, the USIBC led by its chairman, Indra K Nooyi, is expected to make this point to the US lawmaker and the leadership of the Obama Administration as well.

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