Donald Trump's proposed H-1B visa tweaks underline era of deglobalisation
There is a buzz about the United States considering a new regulation that would prevent foreign workers from getting H-1B visa extensions while their green card applications are pending. There is a fear it could lead to "self-deportation" of thousands of workers, particularly software engineers employed by IT services companies.
The bigger point is that we are in an era of deglobalisation. While we mostly focus on the United States, former colonial powers are all raising protectionist barriers - be it the UK, other countries in the EU, even Australia and Singapore.
What does this mean for Indian exporters? The cost of doing business will go up several times. They have to live with that. This also has implications for American businesses. What seems to be good for local employees is not necessarily good for businesses. There is a shortage of technical talent in many parts of the world including the US. Businesses would be starved of engineers at a time when the world is transitioning to Digital and new technologies are disrupting how they do business.
And there is no guarantee 'Hire American' would work. Businesses no longer think morally about these issues - they do what is right. The big word here is a 10-letter one - Automation. If they don't get cheaper talent, they could unleash computer robots to do the job.