Pres. Obama Addresses Outsourcing to India With US-Indian Business Leaders
November 9, 2010
President Barack Obama met with members of the U.S. India Business Council to tackle trade issues concerning India and the U.S. According to news reports, he has taken the bull by the horn in addressing concerns about outsourcing to India.
This visit to India by the President comes on the heels of anti-sourcing measures taken by the Ohio state government to stop outsourcing and a move by the U.S. government to spike the visa fees for H1B visas. The H1B is primarily used by IT firms in India to send their staff to the U.S. for onshore activities.
The CEOs attending the meeting included chiefs of Google, Dell, Intel, Infotech, AMD, Intuit, Wipro, GE and other top ranked firms operating in India. The President was firm in his stand that the stereotype of U.S. jobs and companies outsourcing to India, only to benefit one side was an out fashioned model. He said that the outsourcing model in 2010 resembled one in which both sides would benefit from trade and outsourcing to enjoy a mutual collaboration.
Although most of the chief executives attending the conference said that the meeting was upbeat in terms of what was in store for outsourcing from the U.S., the remarks are in contrast to anti-outsourcing sentiment in the U.S. amid a host of issues like immigration and health care. On the whole, the U.S. is struggling with several problems including unemployment in the wake of a recession that has roiled the financial markets.
So far, Pres. Obama has made a tangibly popular show in India, meeting with students, businessmen and leaders of the nation. However, there are some opposite parties of the Indian government who say that this is a one-sided visit for the U.S. There are also some hard questions about terrorism and why the U.S. has not declared Pakistan a ‘terror-state.’
Nonetheless, the President and the First Lady, Michele Obama have made a strong impact on the people of India. It will remain to be seen if the Pres can hold on to his foreign policy promises when he gets back home to face more domestic pressures amid a faltering economy.
The fact remains that anti-outsourcing legislation has brought losses amounting to $50 billion to the outsourcing industry. India is engaged in exports of $50 billion of IT and IT related services and more than half of that is to the U.S. Contrary to popular thinking, call centers are only $5 billion of these export, The Economic Times reports.