Tuesday, October 27, 2009

U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk Stands Up for American Professionals

Trading India's Mangoes for U.S. Pistachios, NOT American White Collar Jobs

For Immediate Release

Washington – United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk has landed a spot on 2Truthy's official “Your Invited to My Party List.”

Kirk met with Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma for the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meeting in India this week to discuss one of India's shameless, top agenda items: getting more H-1B visas, even though millions of educated American professionals are unemployed/underemployed and there is NO skilled U.S. labor shortage. Click here to read the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative press release. (h/t Rob Sanchez http://www.zazona.com/newsletter #2068.)

Basically, Indian officials asked for more of our jobs and Kirk firmly and politely ripped them a new one with assurances of making “a note” of their outrageous request here:

On the issue of a more liberal visa regime for Indian professionals, the US assured India that it would take up the issue with the US immigration department and see what changes could be made. "We have made a note of India’s concerns and are going to certainly discuss it with our colleagues (in the immigration department)," Mr Kirk said.

Here is the best part, where Kirk noted some trade reciprocation deficiencies:

In the much talked about example, we open up our agricultural market to Indian mangos. These freely flow into our country. In return, we had hoped to export pistachios, which are very strong staple of your diet, not grown domestically and high-end motorcycles. Today, not one Harley Davidson motorcycle has been sold in India,” he added.”

For now, at least on the face of it - when it comes to “improving the tone and frankness” regarding stemming the abuses of H-1b visas, Ron Kirk's stand on behalf of U.S. trade is what I call progress.


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