India’s IT industry body, Nasscom, spent US$510,000 for lobbying with the US government in 2019, nearly US$200,000 less than the money it spent on US lobbyists in the previous year.
Department of Homeland Security and Labour were its primary focus, according to data released from opensecrets.org, citing Senate committee reports. The Open Secrets is a Washington DC-based non-partisan research group.
Considering the report, Microsoft and Cognizant spent a far more significant sum of money on lobbying. Microsoft spent US$7.8 million, while Cognizant, founded by an Indian American, spent US$1.7 million on lobbying efforts.
The United States is the biggest software export market for Indian IT firms. Moreover, most of the American top technology companies, such as Google and Microsoft, have employed numerous workers from the South Asian country.
Nasscom has often expressed concern at the tightening of laws around immigration, H1-B visa program, in particular, arguing that the denial of temporary visas to technology workers would hinder the operations of IT services firms in North America.
A lack of visas makes it harder for Indian IT outsourcing firms to service their customers, most of whom are based in the United States.
Republic Consulting and Lande Group are the two lobbying firms Nasscom has hired in the United States.
However, Nasscom’s efforts do not seem to have yielded any results. The Donald Trump administration is now threatening to cap the annual work visas given to Indians.