Ohio ban on offshore outsourcing not at all welcome: Sharma

"Indian IT industry has made a notable contribution which is acknowledged globally, even in the US. It is Indian entities which are responsible for creating jobs, even now when there are big job losses," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told reporters here. Hoping that the scheduled India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meeting on September 21 would be "constructive", Sharma said the many actions taken by the US that adversely impact the economic engagement "are not welcome".

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has banned offshore outsourcing by government departments. Earlier, the US increased professional visa fees significantly to fund a USD 600 million programme to secure its border with Mexico. Sharma and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk will co-chair the TPF, which is the principal trade dialogue between the US and India.

He said that data suggests that Indian IT companies have created over 2.5 lakh jobs in the US in the last three years. "We hope that there will be a constructive and appropriate approach, because both the countries are strategic partners," he added. He said the protectionist measures being resorted to by several developed countries after the 2008 economic meltdown would be counterproductive.

Sharma said lessons should be learnt from a similar mistake in the form of the Smoot Hawley Act of 1930. It is widely believed that because of that protectionist move by the US, the global recession during the 1930s changed into a depression.

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