HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » India Files WTO Challenge...

Sun Mar 20, 2016, 07:41 PM

India Files WTO Challenge Against US Visa Fee Increases

Source: ICTSD Bridges Trade News

India has brought a WTO challenge (DS503) against certain measures involving the US’ non-immigrant temporary working visas, filing a request for consultations on Thursday 3 March. At issue in the complaint are the increased fees imposed on certain applicants for two categories of non-immigrant temporary working visas, specifically “L-1” and “H-1B,” as well as numerical commitments for the latter visas, according to the consultations request.

The L-1 and H-1B visas

Citizens of foreign countries wishing to work temporarily in the US as a non-immigrant must have their prospective employer file a petition with the country’s federal immigration agency. The types of visa fall under different categories, with these having their own individual qualification requirements. L-1 visas allow a US employer to transfer certain types of high-level employees from an affiliated foreign office to an American one.

The H-1B visa applies to people who wish to work in a specialty occupation, for certain Department of Defence (DOD) projects, or as a fashion model, subject to certain conditions.

Read more: http://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges/news/india-files-wto-challenge-against-us-visa-fee-increases



Read this carefully. Mode 4 deals with the movement of short-term service providers by a WTO member in another member-country on a non-immigration framework. (intra-corporate transfer)

There is no clear time limit but generally they are thought of as lasting no more than 5 years. Since this is an already existing trade deal there is no legal way for a President or Congress to change it.

I have read estimates of the number of Mode Four subcontractor workers eventually reaching 30 million or more. Wages are unclear and may not be under US jurisdiction, although its expected that applicable taxes will be paid.

Negotiations on GATS have been ongoing for 20 years off and on but the recent decision against local sourcing on solar panels makes it clear that countries no longer have the right to spend their taxpayers money only on their own companies to create local jobs in their own countries, and I think this next decision will make it clear countries can no longer can tell multinational corporations where their workers need to be from.

11 replies, 2238 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to Baobab (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2016, 07:50 PM

1. h1-B program needs to be ended ... and congress can repeal a treaty nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 20, 2016, 08:16 PM

2. That would never happen. This is a huge undertaking and Mode Four is intended literally half of it.

They would not have put billions of man hours and 20 years of work into this only to repeal it.

This is the payoff to the poor nations for participating in the WTO.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 20, 2016, 08:22 PM

3. I am sorry.. maybe you are confused, L-1 are the trade deal visas.. Not H1-B

L-1 etc, subcontractors, no quotas. H1-B are often some fairly high percentage of a "prevailing wage" - not part of a treaty so the US can set quotas. there is no requirement we recognize foreign licenses or not have necessity tests or limit domestic regulation to not more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of the service

With GATS there is.

If we told some huge multinational company they could only have 65,000 workers here, would that be giving them all the rights of one of our own companies? No.

in return we get to go there and have 65,000 of whatever workers we can find that we want, so they get it too. American companies want that, badly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 08:04 AM

8. The H-series visas are not the result of treaties, just of US laws

The L-series visas have to do with businesses that have operations in both countries; unlike the H-series, at least in theory they make a lot of sense: Google wants its employees to have experience in both San Francisco and Hyderabad. (I think the canonical example is Mariott, which has the staff at its five-star properties train in a lot of the other five-star properties all over the world.)

I don't see India winning this case, since unlike with the H visa the employee is already hired and doesn't have to pay it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 03:38 PM

9. !!YES!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Baobab (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2016, 09:10 PM

4. Not that this would happen but

What are the consequences if we tell TWO to go fuck themselves. We're going to have quotas and rules for these visas.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TheFarseer (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 20, 2016, 09:17 PM

5. we would have to perform the GATS Article XXI Procedure based on the lost expected profits in the

entire market segment so that there was no financial incentive. Then wait three or ten years, I forget which..several years before we could exit..

It might be worth it to read the second Achmea v. Slovakia case..

discussion of a similar situation.

the US Gambling case is not representative because that was a tiny market segment, online gambling.. not important by all accounts.. health care, education, services, all are huge services is the hugest, the entire set, 70% of all jobs, whatever the percentage of those that are 'skilled' its high.

Of course one country or company would not be entitled to the whole amount, it would likely be shared between all the countries that had already provided serviv=ces under GATS Mode Four.. And what about TiSA which has similar movement of natural persons provisions? Obviously we would not sign taht.. But would we still have the TPP, and TTIP services provisions, I know both nclude services. Seems like they have us cornered, we have no chance of getting out of this except by national suicide. they have us checkmated, those craft neoliberals.

You have to understand there are numerous other potential bailouts being set up, i would say that the first one or two likely would clean us out and leave us at the mercy of whatever is next.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Baobab (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 20, 2016, 09:25 PM

6. How is it that we get screwed by these deals

But Germany, Sweden, Japan, UK seem to be unaffected? Or are their workers getting crushed too and we just don't hear about it?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TheFarseer (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 20, 2016, 09:31 PM

7. They are horrible for all countries that dont have really strong unions

You have to understand that the EU was created by a trade deal so they have already had something like 20 years of mandated government procurement to the lowest qualified bidder and something none of the US-style deals (GATS, NAFTA and their more recent progeny-TISA, TTIP and TPP) have, free migration - people can move to other EU countries in search of jobs without being attached to a corporation- even plumbers, etc, and many have- and they get public healthcare and even unemployment insurance if they cannot find work, so wages have already fallen there a lot for the lesser skilled, people with high levels of skill have done okay, they always will I think that is the real thing driving this is a hatred on the part of some in the US business community of the high wages gotten by people with high levels of technical skills- something non-tech business needs but that it hates paying a lot for.

falling birth rates have put off the race to the bottom on wages that many were hoping for as automation ramped up so these trade deals are probably hoped to push them down.
With mode Four people cannot just move - they are only there under some corporations wishes so if they quit or get fired they have to immediately leave,

they have no salary limits as far as I know, they could be paid room and board, even I suppose.. although its likely they would be paid a minimum wage or at least be represented to be receiving a minimum wage, of one or the other, perhaps the higher of the two.

In the EU, unlike Mode four, people not affiliated to corporations can move from one country to another to work. Mode Four only allows corporations and perhaps very high level single person corprations and executives and subcontractors (workers who are installing something or teaching something or healing something or writing some program, or working with special equipment in a high skill in demand field like oil or gas exploration or similar.. they would not be paid slave wages they likely would be paid at least somebody's minimum wage..

Somewhere.. but it may not be the US minimum wage. Honestly, i dont think there are rules on wages - just working conditions, they cannot be worse for guest workers - But lots of kinds of discimination against people are likely for example, the companies that come in may not have women or minorities (whatever minorities exist in their workforce, they may not be there) also discrimination is understood to be things like minimum wages (because they might keep some countries workers out) another form of discrimination would be quotas- they will definitely be struck down-

The rules are basically a lot of rules that say basically over and over that rules must not get in the way.

and the differences in wages between say india and the US is huge enough so that they will literally save - several hundred percent.

According to experts like Saskia Sassen EU unions are likely to do much better because of collective something agreements. they cant just be deprived of their jobs as easily.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TheFarseer (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:49 PM

11. That is a complicated question that you need to understand a bunch of things first to understand

Its quite complicated.

You need to understand the motivating factors for each of the countries, what they want and what they hope to get. Thats very complicated and in many cases (such as the US) what they really want is not what they may say they want.

GATS - parts of GATS have been in negotiations for 20 years off and on and those negotiations have not concluded, so in a very real sense it has not begun to be implemented yet.

Trade deals are about profits, increasing profits, not creating jobs, if they create jobs those jobs may not be beneficial jobs to the people of a country, they may go to others, generally businesses prefer to do whatever it is they do at the lowest cost, if they can use a treaty to get three or four workers for what one used to cost before it, they often will do that. There is no such concept as a living wage in neoliberalism. Wages are whatever the market determined, the lower the better. Almost everything said about them is put forward in a way which is deliberately deceptive and calculated to reassure the future losers that all is fine and not to worry. Thats part of the game. Thats the norm, not the exception. they will say anything to get whateer done that starts the wheels in motion and then they go into autopilot mode and cant be stopped. that change was fast track, so its likely we're really screwed - because of the GATS having been signed in the 90s and likely not needing much additional legislative involvement as its already been signed in the 90s by President Clinton.

You should read some of the literature on GATS's "movement of natural persons" provisions. Which are called "Mode Four" because its the Fourth Mode of Supply.

Also read up on the Doha Development Agenda.

Also on the goals of services liberlisation generally. Basically its framed in terms of higher "efficiency" More money made for the owners of the markets means higher profits, more value extracted from the supply chains. (less wages paid, more profits)

In important aspects GATS is positive list, TiSA is negative list (opt out, in by default) So TiSA may bring bigger more radical changes much more so than GATS.

Lots of service sectors are subject to "standstill" so they are in a sense grandfathered in and if nothing is changed there is nothing t ratchet tighter - but the deals are designed to turn any change into more liberalisation (more disinvestment/privatization/globalization) Laws restricting trade of any kinds, any kind of regulation, law, anything that tells businesses they need to do something or not do something they want to do is a "non conforming measure" so forbidden or challengeable if challenged- Things like licensing by country, are supposed to be harmonized - the goal is for corporations to draw their workforces from wherever it pleases them, and do whatever they want as far as payment as lng as the employee consents. Google "Lochner Era" - for what that means legally.

they can avoid privatization if no money is involved at all ever. So Canada's health care has stayed relatively intact while the UK's is being subjected to the death of a thousand cuts and is not long for this world if the Cameron and Obama Administrations get their ways. Clinton is likely to be the same as Obama or her husband, who literally is the single human being in the world most associated with neoliberalism, I think.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Baobab (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 03:49 PM

10. Fuck the WTO!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread