IT sector

As Trump seeks to tighten visa rules, Indian IT firms are spending freely to lobby US policymakers

Indian IT companies are the biggest beneficiaries of H-1B visas granted by the United States.

As President Donald Trump threatens to tighten the United States’ immigration policies, Indian technology giants are lobbying harder than ever in Washington.

In 2017, India’s second-largest information technology services company, Infosys, spent $2,00,000 on lobbying the US Congress, four times more than it did in the previous year, data from the non-profit Center for Responsive Politics showed. Wipro, the third-largest company in the sector, spent $1,30,000, five and a half times more than a year ago.

Data: OpenSource.org, Center for Responsive Politics
Data: OpenSource.org, Center for Responsive Politics

The country’s largest IT company, Tata Consultancy Services, also increased its spend on lobbying to $1,10,000 in 2017, up 37%.

Such lobbying, that is trying to wield influence on policymaking, has gained unprecedented importance for Indian IT companies since Trump took office in January 2017. His administration has made several moves to make the “Buy American and Hire American” vision come true. This has made the application process for the highly sought after H-1B visas harder for computer programmers. Indian IT companies are the biggest beneficiaries of the H-1B visas, while the US is their biggest market.

However, in 2017, India’s IT trade association Nasscom’s lobbying expenditure fell 11% to $3,90,000. The organisation had spent an all-time high of $4,40,000 in the election year 2016.

Data: OpenSource.org, Center for Responsive Politics
Data: OpenSource.org, Center for Responsive Politics

This article first appeared on Quartz.

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