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India Takes First Step Toward Challenging U.S. Visa Policy At WTO (March 10, 2016)

"India is also claiming that commitments made by the U.S. in its free trade agreements with Singapore and Chile to provide a certain number of H-1B visas to those countries violates the United States' commitment under GATS to annually provide 65,000 H-1Bs worldwide. However, the U.S. GATS schedule specifically states that it will offer "up to" 65,000 H-1B visas for persons annually on a worldwide basis. It also committed in its GATS schedule to allow entry for an unlimited number of qualifying L-1 visa holders."

US—India Visa Fee Controversy before the WTO: A Migration-Mobility Nexus for the WTO?

Marion Panizzon Trumping over the US election campaign is also a visa dispute at the WTO. On trial stands a bill by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to double application fees for H1-B visa. India brought its complaint before the WTO on March 2016, alleging that the US had breached its legally binding market access commitments. The US-India dispute could set a precedent if it were to confirm the WTO’s judicial competence over visa – traditionally considered a national prerogative.

Certain U.S. Laws for Foreign Workers Draw Fire from India in the WTO

This is a Congressional Research Reports report (PDF) on the DS503 case. Note that they say that there is a possibility of the US losing the case, and having to modify behavior on the contested parts of our work visa system, which includes the quotas that limit the rate of increase in job outsourcing workers and GATS Mode 4 generally. It's only because of the quotas that far more jobs that can be, are not offshored. Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton found that 26% of all US jobs could be outsourced and offshored.

"Breaking the rules to prevent rule-breaking? The GATS and service mobility: drawing lines between genuine immigration control and protectionism"

NOTE: Although the WTO dispute this article references, DS503 is relatively new (2016) this GATS scheme it is filed under is not new- (or due, or related to COVID-19) its been in place for more than two and a half decades, but partially held up/in planning for arguably more than three decades. Its just been acrimonious, with both sides so far able to agree unable to agree on terms in their scheme to overrule democracy that *required foreign involvement to enable the international aspect that allows GATS to ignore democracy*. The scheme has not only blocked a huge laundry list of progressive policies, for decades, it also trades away many kinds of high skill jobs, good jobs, IF foreign countries firms can do them for less. With wages so much lower than US workers are paid, its likely that they'd both do that and pocket huge profits, even if they literally offer three workers for the price of one as their pitch sometimes goes. (Ive received them, at various jobs) -------------------------- Please recognize the linked article's point of view, it states that countries only have the right to regulate "immigration" which in WTO-ese only includes people seeking PERMANENT residency in our country, not the growing numbers of temporary GATS Mode 3 and Mode 4 workers. They have jobs with an employer, such as a staffing company. What bothers me is this provides a pretext which is being used to silently gut wages and jobs.(GATS Mode 4 and GATS Mode 3 are making work of all kinds, precarious work- inserting a new layer of very highly paid middlemen, a change that potentially could eventually replace the world's middle class. a way of "precaritizing" more and more of the global workforce, disenfranchising both voters and earners, (by forcing more and more to cross borders and shed rights, to get jobs) pushing wages globally down to some hypothetical global average wage.

WTO Dispute DS503 - over visa quotas and whether national laws on minimum wages apply to guest workers (or can they be paid less than US minimum wage) and irreversibly opening the nation to vast expansions in numbers of disempowered guest workers to replace allegedly overpaid US workers could lead to large scale job losses

in all the service sectors committed in the US Schedule of Specific Commitments, and at all skill levels, from very skilled workers like doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, computer programmers, engineers, adult education, construction and energy and environmental workers, etc. Jobs would be put up for international bidding. Filed March 2016, could be decided by the DSB whenever it is able to convene a quorum which is currently being blocked by the US. Likely would be able to rule and require us to conform all our laws. Could lead to a GATS visa automatically being granted to guest worker supplying companies as an entitlement we would be unable to deny, because guest workers are not immigration, they are intra-corporate transferees.

COMMUNICATION FROM ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, BRAZIL, CHILE, COLOMBIA, INDIA, MEXICO, PAKISTAN, PERU, PHILIPPINES, THAILAND AND URUGUAY Categories of Natural Persons for Commitments under Mode 4 of GATS

"Mode 4 – Movement of Natural Persons to Provide Services Let’s start with the last of these categories first. A better term for “Mode 4” would be “domestic immigration policy.” In the United States, the Constitution gives the Congress exclusive authority for setting our domestic immigration policy (Article I-8.) The very notion that immigration policy would be set via GATS Mode 4 negotiations by trade negotiators in Geneva has our congressional leaders deeply concerned. Indeed, when such immigration provisions were slipped into U.S. Free 4Trade Agreements with Singapore and Chile, the agreements were nearly rejected by Congress and a commitment was obtained from the Bush Administration that future trade pacts would never again contain such provisions. I understand that here in the European Union there have been equally heated debates over immigration policy and I assume there are the same concerns about separation of powers and democratic accountability here as well. A group of developing countries led by India have joined together to forward a common position on Mode 4 that focuses on the cross border movement of professionals, but does not insist that these professionals are paid the same wages as their peers in developed nations. 5 Moreover, these proposals would set up a system within countries by which a class of workers would have their basic rights – indeed their very right to be in a country – controlled by their employer not the laws of the country in which they are working. This would not only undercut wages, work hours, vacation policy, the right to organize, and other labor policy in developed countries and generate foreseeably ugly social tension, but it would also exacerbate the problems of “brain drain” in the developing world. A respected study presented at the WTO that advocated increased Mode 4 liberalization showed that the community left behind by Mode 4 workers suffers significantly increased welfare costs. In other words, developing countries pay dearly for “brain drain” associated with outward migrating professionals. 6 Plus, the ongoing tragedy presented by the immigration of doctors and nurses from Africa to Europe and the United States has been well-documented. 7 Moreover, there have been various alarming proposals on licensing and qualification requirements (in the context of the Working Party on Domestic Regulations which is discussed in detail below). What is envisioned here are “harmonization exams” to establish equivalency and to facilitate the movement of workers across borders. National, state or provincial licensing requirements and “language competency” are characterized as unnecessary obstacles to the smooth flow of workers across borders. 8 Once professional service sectors are signed up to the GATS, “disciplines” are envisioned which would apply a “necessity test” to all domestic regulations relating to that profession. The WTO has already completed one such set of rules which apply to the accounting sector and require that licensing, qualification and technical standards be “no more trade restrictive than necessary.”" (quote from Lori Wallach Testimony to EU. The linked document is the proposal by a group of developing countries to set up and lock in a return to indentured servitude. They see this as their pay back for being in the WTO. It replaces immigration with corporate capture, for example, in the US, L1B visas - similar to H1B but with much lower wages and almost no rights. This is being pushed in on us very skillfully by what amounts to an international "coalition of the wealthy" under the radar as part of the GATS' and similar "agreements" coercive global takeover.)

USCIS Appeals Panel Rules on L-1B Employment

Story about "Matter of I- Corp., Adopted Decision 2017-02 (AAO Apr. 12, 2017)" a USCIS adjudicative decision where a company's decision to pay a Malaysian engineer less than US minimum wage resulted in a rejection of the non-immigrant work visa they were applying for. It was determined that companies applying for non-immigrant work visas, must plan to pay _at least a 'legal' US wage, ideally a wage that reflected the special skills posessed by the proposed visa recipient. This is a reasonable requirement so that engineers working for minimum wage don't depress the job prospects of engineers generally.