US can't hide behind immigration at WTO: India

By Editor, Reuters, January 14, 2006

Hong Kong, December 14: The United States will have to open its market to more foreign temporary workers as part of any new world trade deal, despite strong opposition in the US Congress, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said on Wednesday.

The United States 'can't hide behind saying this is an immigration issue', Nath said on the sidelines of a World Trade Organisation meeting where countries are trying to keep alive chances of reaching a new world trade deal by the end of 2006.

The issue of allowing more engineers, computer programmers and other workers to travel across borders to provide services is one of the most politically sensitive issues facing the United States in the talks.

Many members of Congress view the issue as an immigration matter and strongly oppose the Bush administration making new commitments in that area as part of a trade deal.

"But as long as services remains part of the WTO, you can't hide behind saying this is an immigration issue. Having said that, I also must say that India is not asking for the movement of people on the immigration side," Nath said....

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