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Protectionism is the new mantra – H1B, Trade ban are just the by-products

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India banned Chinese toys starting January 23 for six months. Good news for Indian toy makers who are facing a losing battle with the Chinese toy deluge. Not so good news for China which supplies 70% of the world toys. As per India, it has done in the public interest. China thinks otherwise and wants to appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

US few days ago is close to passing a bill about limiting the H1-B’s. Yeah! the most popular US visa for a foreigner to work in the US. The limit is only for the US banks which were bailed out with tax payer’s money. Is that fair?

Let’s hear their logic. The unemployment rate in the US is at an all time high. 600,000 Americans have lost their jobs in January alone. Now, so many qualified Americans are job less, these semi-nationalized institutions wants to hire foreign workers? Fair enough.

What goes around comes around – India banned toys from China. America limited H1-B’s from India. This looks like a vicious cycle. These bans are not the first. US has banned around 30 drugs from Indian drug manufacturer Ranbaxy citing irregularities at the manufacturing facilities. The other side of the story is again to protect American drug manufacturers.

US is the biggest consumer and India and China are the major producers. It makes sense to protect the respective economies from imports from these Asian countries. India and China do not yet have the consumption led economy – though India is a better off.

The world is going into a cocoon by protecting their respective economies. This does not augur well for the  global economy which is already contracting. Would this get any worse is the biggest question.

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