Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump to Meet on June 26
The first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump will cover many topics, though outsourcing and jobs loss may be glazed over.
Trump is on record as firing off against other countries taking American jobs, and India is among one of the leaders in the world when it comes to outsourcing. Millions of American jobs are filled by outsourced workers, often for a far lower wage than an American employee would earn.
This discussion reached a head surrounding the H-1B visas. The temporary work permit system has been used by some of the biggest companies in the world to fill many positions in their firms, though many of these positions are at the bottom of the company. Trump has demanded a change to the visa program, as news broke that companies have in fact been misleading the government about their total number of outsourced hires by going through middlemen to mask the true numbers.
A recent Bloomberg report came out that showed that companies like Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) had been masking the true number of H-1B visa hires using the outsourcing companies themselves as middlemen.
While Modi may choose to avoid talking about the more contentious issues standing between the two nations and instead focus on areas of partnership, like military connections, that would both be out of character for Trump as well as a departure from Trump’s main stated goal of bringing back jobs to America.
The first meeting will certainly be a departure from Modi’s last visits with Barack Obama, who is dissimilar from Trump both in personality and message.
In either case, the economic stakes are high for both sides. Outsourcing IT jobs to India accounts for large portions of India’s revenue in the sector, while tech-centered jobs in the U.S. are often seen as some of the more coveted in the nation at the moment.
With Trump’s emphasis on job creation and India’s reliance on the booming outsourcing industry, it will be difficult for the two leaders to avoid broaching the subject, and may lead to more fireworks between them than we’re accustomed to seeing at these meetings.
Modi is set to arrive in Washington on June 26 to meet with Trump at the White House.
“India, US confirm Modi-Trump meeting on June 26,” Times of India, June 13, 2017.
Source: “The Secret Way Silicon Valley Uses the H-1B Program,” Bloomberg, June 6, 2017.