|India has dragged the US to the top global trade arbiter over a dispute on temporary working visas, the WTO said on Friday. |
India has filed a complaint against the United States for imposing increased fees on certain categories of temporary work visas for the United States and limits on their numbers, a move that has hit India’s export-driven IT outsourcing firms.
A WTO statement said India has alleged these measures appear inconsistent with commitments that the US has made by treating persons from India working in sectors such as computer services in the United States less favourably than US citizens.
The United States had 10 days to respond to the request, which will go to the Dispute Settlement Body if India and the United States cannot come to a satisfactory agreement.
India’s roughly $150 billion outsourcing sector generates about three quarters of its revenue from the United States, where outsourcing companies send thousands of staff every year to work at client locations.
The U.S. Congress in December doubled the cost of sponsoring workers under short-term H1B and L1 visas, and spurred concerns of future curbs on IT work sent overseas by U.S. companies before the U.S. presidential election.