Cap on H1B will generate a trade war: Azim Premji

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Azim Premji
Washington, May 30: Azim Premji, Wipro's executive chairman warned US that restriction on hiring H1B visa holders for skilled workers will choke America of talent coming in and could generate a trade war with countries such as India.

In an interview with BusinessWeek Premji said, "In my opinion it's a very drastic initiative." He was referring to a bill in the US Senate basically preventing firms from hiring H1Bs in the US or bringing in holders of L1 visas for semi-skilled workers.

"It will choke the United States of talent coming in. You will not be able to substitute the absence of this talent with local hires because it's not easily available," Premji said.

"Also, you'll generate a trade war with countries such as India," he said, calling it as a freedom-of-trade issue. "It's precisely what President (Barack) Obama said in the G20 meeting: The United States will not get into a spate of protectionism."

He added that United States must realise that about 60 to 70 pc of the growth of the revenues of large American companies comes from India and China. "These are the growth markets. It's a simple thing for our government to raise tariffs. It's a simple thing for our government to say no American corporation will get central or state government contracts, or defence contracts," he warned.

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