Hire American order causes flutter in TCS, Infosys & Cognizant
The Dollar Business Bureau
A recent ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order from the Trump administration is the latest to cause flutters and bring jitters to the Indian IT sector, especially TCS, Cognizant and Infosys. The executive order brings to life, President Trump’s pre-election rhetoric of bringing jobs for Americans. A report made available on the White House website named TCS, Infy and Cognizant of indulging in unfair-practices to secure H1B visas.
The press release remarked that these companies applied for more number of visas, under the lottery system for H1B, than they could get. This was done to gain a lion share of H1B visas. Furthermore, the release added that 80% of such workers were paid below the average while only 5% were paid above the median. This caused Americans to lose jobs to less skilled and lower-paid workers.
All the three Indian companies have reportedly paid an average wage in the range of $60-65,000, while a “Silicon Valley software engineer’s wage is probably around $150,000,” shared the official.
The Buy American and Hire American will involve crucial departments such as USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Service), and Department of Labor in formulating policies to make more jobs available to locals while limiting such practices. The Trump administration has tweaked immigration policies, more importantly, H1B visas. It first increased the minimum wages, application fee has been increased to $460, and more importantly, the department has also temporarily suspended expedited processing of H1B visas. The premium service costs an additional $1,225 or gets refunded within 15 days in case of a negative result.
The executive order was raised around the same time as that of the visit of Arun Jaitley, India’s Finance Minister. He tried to salvage the flaring H1B issue by highlighting the contribution of Indian companies with US Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin.