India could take up the issue of visas for skilled workers when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets US President Donald Trump next week.when asked whether India would raise the H-1B issue during Modi’s visit, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said: “I cannot say what would be the issues that would come up in the discussion. This is one of the issues on the table. It is not the only issue. But in the event the issue comes up, it would certainly be taken up.” Teaotia also said the US has started a trade policy review of those countries with which it has adverse trade balance and India is ninth on that list.
After being elected as the president of United States,Trump had ordered a review of the US visa programme for bringing high-skilled foreign workers into the United States, putting technology firms and the outsourcing companies that serve them on notice of possible changes ahead.
India has time and again raised the issue of H-1B with the US authorities and asked them to liberalise their visa regime as Indian companies contribute significantly to the American economy.
However, Trump’s focus on building ties with China, coupled with his protectionist trade policies and his characterisation of India as an unscrupulous negotiator in the Paris climate change agreement have raised concern in New Delhi about a drift in relations.