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US will need more H-1B if businesses, manufacturing return: Jaishankar

IANS | Washington |

The United States will need more H-1B visa-holding skilled professionals if more businesses and manufacturing come back to the US under President Donald Trump's plans, according to Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.

Making the case for the H-1B visa programme now under pressure in the US, he said that such professionals would be essential for making the US globally competitive and it would help the American economy.

Speaking to reporters here on Friday after meetings with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly during which they discussed H-1B visas, Jaishankar said that although the US tended to view it as an immigration issue, from India's perspective it was an economic and trade issue. He added that these arguments drew interest.

Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, who also attended some of the meetings, said there was a recognition of the contributions of Indians to the technology sector. She said that the Trump administration did not give priority to changing the H-1B visa programme and that it would be addressed when comprehensive immigration reforms are taken up.