Protectionism will kill growth and innovation: Sharma

September 22nd, 2010 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Expressing India’s concern over the trade restrictive and protectionist policies adopted by the United States in the last few months, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said such move would “kill innovation and growth”.
“Protectionism kills growth and innovation. In order to ensure that we continue our high growth trajectories, we have to be strong to resist domestic calls and pressures to increase barriers to trade,” Sharma said during his meeting with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk in Washington.

Sharma also stressed on the need for a totalisation agreement between India and the US that will go a long way towards supporting growth in the services sector, according to a statement released here Wednesday.

The executive order of Ohio state governor that imposes restrictions on outsourcing and the Border Security legislation that directly impacts Indian software companies and increases their costs by millions of dollars were raised by the minister, the statement said.

A series of protectionist measures announced by the US recently, is likely to negatively affect the business of Indian outsourcing companies.

Increase in visa fee is estimated to put an additional burden of $250 million annually on the Indian IT firms. The US government has increased visa fee by $2,000 for certain H-1B and $2,250 for L-1A and L-1B.

In yet another protectionist approach, a US state of Ohia recently banned offshore outsourcing by government departments.

Sharma, who is on a four-day visit to the United States, held a closed-door meeting with US Trade Representative Kirk Tuesday.

Sharma, who also co-chaired a meeting of Private Sector Advisory Group, highlighted the role of small and medium-size companies in maximizing trade and investment flows.

“Through cooperative engagement in this area, we will be able to provide sustained employment, higher incomes, and other critical economic benefits,” he said.

– Indo-Asian News Service

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