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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."

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.

IT Sector being "extraordinarily disrupted" by abuse of L-1B and H-1B visa programs on a large scale to replace US workers, this is being caused in no small part by GATS.

In particular, GATS' "movement of natural persons" provisions. (GATS' 'Mode Four') which can pay as little as US minimum wage. (even that is a subject of dispute by developing countries who claim that under trade agreements - specifically under visas like the L-1B visa, that they have a right to pay their temporary non-immigrant visa holding workers, whatever they want. This right is claimed under the original Uruguay Round and is the subject of WTO dispute DS 503, filed in March 2016 by India, and still to my knowledge unresolved.)

Offshoring companies are gaming the system to do an end run around US wage and hour laws, costing workers their jobs.

This is a good article. I thought that the H-1B visa is for grads of US colleges (foreign students) and that the L-1B visas are for foreign firms that bring in their own workers for typically around six years, at much lower wages. The L-1B workers have advanced degrees but are sometimes paid less than almost any other similarly skilled workers in the US. Its an especially exploitative situation for the foreign IT firms' workers. Who, if they are here, frankly should be able to earn what they are worth, and apply for citizenship after a few years. They shouldnt be exploited for cheap labor. But frankly, they are and its driving a huge amount of dishonesty in Washington. I would not be surprised if I found out healthcare was in part being held hostage, to manufacture a fake "crisis" as a means to get ultra cheap labor.

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.