President Donald Trump is pressuring India to lower its tariffs against U.S. companies, but House Democrats and Republicans are offering to open the U.S. labor market to even more Indian college graduates.
The economic contradiction was highlighted Tuesday when Trump tweeted his frustration at India’s policy of putting tariffs on American-made goods and services:
At the same time, GOP leaders in the House remained silent while Democratic leaders pushed a business-backed bill that dramatically raises the U.S. government’s incentives for Indian college graduates to take college-grades jobs from Americans in the United States.
The Democratic bill, numbered HR.1044, allows Indian college graduates to get roughly 100,000 green cards each year, up from the current “country cap” limit of about 24,000 green cards. The Indians will be able to get the extra green cards — and later, U.S. citizenship — if they agree to become H-1B contract-workers and then work for low wages and long hours in the U.S. jobs sought by American graduates.
“You have Trump tweeting about our access to the Indian market …. and yet [with this bill] we are rigging our employer-based [green card] system to benefit Indians,” said Rosemary Jenks, policy director at NumbersUSA.
“It does not make sense to reward nations that you are battling on trade issues by helping them expand their economies into the United States,” she said.
The Democratic legislation is due for a vote on Wednesday, one day after Trump posted his tweet about Indian tariffs.
GOP leaders can stop easily block the Democrats’ giveaway to Indian graduates — and to their many U.S. employers — because Democrats are fast-tracking the unpopular bill to avoid hearings and committee votes. The fast-track procedure requires bills to get a supermajority of 290 votes for passage.
Aides to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Whip Steve Scalie declined to answer questions from Breitbart News about their views on the bill