Infosys says job creation isn’t in response to Trump, despite media headlines

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The company’s pledge to hire 10,000 more Americans is part of a longer-term strategy.

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka. CREDIT: AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

Indian outsourcing company Infosys announced on Tuesday that it plans to add 10,000 more jobs over the next two years and open four new technology hubs across the country.

Immediately, a number of media outlets connected this announcement to President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on H-1B visas. Infosys typically applies for thousands of H-1B visas a year to bring skilled workers to the United States. Two weeks ago, Trump signed an executive order starting an interdepartmental review of the program with an eye to limiting it.

But despite the media reports that attributed Infosys’s hiring plans to Trump’s actions, the company told ThinkProgress that the two things are unrelated. “You can’t possibly have four tech hubs put together in two weeks,” said Chiku Somaiya, a public relations lead, referring to the time since Trump’s order. A company official said that the 10,000 new jobs are instead part of its longer-term plan to serve its clients’ needs.

Trump’s ‘Hire American’ executive order has no weight without Congress

In its own press release about its hiring plans, the company touted its “over 35 year-long commitment to the U.S.” and said the jobs are “part of Infosys’ continued legacy of a three-decade long investment across the U.S.” It also pointed to a renewed focus on its American footprint over the last three years that included a new hub in Silicon Valley.

And while Trump has indicated that he wants to see changes to the H-1B program, his executive order on its own doesn’t accomplish anything. He needs Congress’s cooperation to actually make reforms.

Trump is taking credit for jobs companies planned years in advance

It is also not clear whether and how Infosys will actually add 10,000 jobs in two years. In its announcement, it said that it will hire 2,000 people at its first new hub in Indiana by 2021 but offered no further details. Experts have been skeptical of other companies that have recently made large-scale job announcements and whether those will actually come to fruition.

Trump has tried to take credit for a number of these splashy company promises to create American jobs anyway, claiming that they are proof that his administration and its policies are already leading to more hiring. He hasn’t actually overseen any actual policy changes, however. And a closer look at nearly all of the company announcements shows that they were already in the works long before he won the election. A number of other companies have, as with Infosys, made it clear that the decision to add jobs wasn’t related to Trump or his administration.

Infosys says job creation isn’t in response to Trump, despite media headlines was originally published in ThinkProgress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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