Trade Deals Provides Welcome Boost For Trump

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As President Trump left the country to embark on a global tour, some suggested he was deliberately escaping a difficult period at home. But recent news has seemed to bolster the Potus’ platform, with major trade deals inviting investment and jobs to American soil.

To coincide with the President’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the two countries announced an accord involving multiple trade deals, largely centred on defence. $350bn has been pledged to the United States over the next ten years, with immediate contracts worth $110bn.

The move represents a timely boost to the U.S. economy, as President Trump unveils his budget proposals for the coming year. It is also a signifier of a strengthening relationship with growing economies in the Middle East, backtracking on some of the President’s more outlandish rhetoric.

News of bumper foreign trade deals may also provide a boost to entrepreneurs, who will be hoping for a relaxation in policies on moving to America. Stripe founder and Irish native Patrick Collison has recently spoken about how current immigration policy may have a negative impact on innovation in Silicon Valley, and others will be sure to push the President to protect business interests.

Immigration policy does seem to be having a positive impact in some areas, however. Reports indicate that the Indian I.T. sector, which has a significant client base in North America, may be investing significantly in hiring American to propel this growth.

Tech giant Infosys has announced plans to lay off 1000 Indian workers while hiring 10,000 Americans over the next two years. Cognizant, one of their competitors, also announced 6000 layoffs, with the apparent intention to hire more workers in America.

The sector had recently come in for some criticism for using the H1-B visa to replace American workers. In 2015 nearly 200,000 Indian workers benefitted from the scheme, representing 70% of successful applications. Some have argued that this program has been exploited, bringing in workers who are at the same or a lower level of IT qualifications than those they are replacing.

The I.T. sector is a huge growth area, with predictions of a 4.1% increase in 2017. Cybersecurity is a particular area of focus following the recent spate of ‘ransomware’ attacks, revealing the potential cost of failing to protect I.T. systems. Businesses can be expected to fast track efforts at digitisation, putting more onus on both in-house I.T. and external service providers.

 

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