... Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said his staff had come up with an alternative that would not hurt American workers: raising the visa application fees paid by any companies with more than 50 people in which more than half the work force has H-1B or L visas that are intended for skilled foreign workers.
Senate aides said four Indian companies would qualify for the significantly higher fees: Tata, Infosys, Wipro and Mahindra Satyam, all of which operate in the United States and are criticized as “body shops” because they provide outsourcing of Indian professionals to American companies. Large American high-tech corporations, which bring the bulk of the skilled immigrants into the United States, would not be affected since the vast majority of their work forces are made up of Americans.
Now it appears that a WTO complaint is going forward:
India has launched a complaint at theWorld Trade Organization over the cost of U.S. work visas, which it says are too high and discriminate against a group of Indian IT firms, in the latest sign of prickly trade ties between the two allies.
The complaint is at the level of WTO "consultations" between the two parties - the last step to resolve a disagreement before entering a full-fledged legal dispute.
The substance of the case should be very interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing the consultations request. But in the meantime, something in the article linked above struck me:
Last month, the United States began the same type of action at the WTO to open India's market for poultry meat and eggs, saying an Indian ban on U.S. imports intended to stop the spread of bird flu was not based on sound science.
Here's my question: Is India's complaint on the visa issue a response to the U.S. complaint? There are a number of examples of "tit-for-tat" WTO disputes. Is this another one?