White House sends out 'world is flat' message with India visit
'Outsourcing America' author says claim of balance in the trading relationship is wrong
Computerworld - The California wine served at a U.S. State Dept. lunch today for India's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, was called Conundrum, a word that sums up the difficulty trying to decipher President Barack Obama's approach to offshore outsourcing and H-1B visas.
The Obama administration has yet to outline its views on offshore outsourcing of skilled jobs and this continued today with Singh's visit. But there were clues nonetheless among the people who were invited at a State Department luncheon for Singh.
Among those at the luncheon was Thomas Friedman, a columnist at The New York Times and author of "The World is Flat."
And among the 16 people seated at the head table were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, whose state was picked by Tata Consultancy Services for its North American Delivery Center in Milford. The state offered about $19 million tax credits and other incentives to get Tata and, as of this month, 225 Ohioans work at the facility, according to the governor's office.
But although more than 50% of Tata's revenue comes from North America, of the more than 123,000 workers employed by Tata Consultancy Services, only 900 are Americans, says a report Tata issued in July. In fact, Tata has more workers who are Ecuadoran than American.
Also at the head table was Ratan Tata, of the Tata Group, the parent of the IT consultancy group, says a White House pool report from the luncheon filed by Politico reporter Amie Pames.
Tata's Ohio project, announced in Oct. 2007, was expected to create 1,000 positions within the first three years. But Tata and Indian offshore firms will have to add a lot more U.S. workers if legislation by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is adopted. Of particular concern is the bill's so-called "50-50" rule that limits the number of workers on H-1B or L-1 visas to half of a firm's total U.S. headcount. The majority of Indian companies in the U.S. have far more people working with visas than not.
Obama didn't address offshoring and only talked broadly about economic cooperation. "India will play a pivotal role in meeting the major challenges we face today. And this includes my top economic priority, creating good jobs with good wages for the American people," he said.
Obama also said that "Indian investment in America is creating and sustaining jobs across the United States," adding that there is "significant balance in our trading relationships."
Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology and author of "Outsourcing America," says the claim that there's balance in the trading relationship is wrong. "In fact we're running a large services deficit and an even larger jobs deficit with India," he said.
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All IT Outsourcing White Papers | Webcasts