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Foreign Professionals in the United States: Regulatory Impediments to Trade


  • Aaditya Mattoo
  • Deepak Mishra


Changes in demographics and patterns of investment in human capital are creating increased scope for international trade in professional services. India, one of the largest exporters of skilled services, and the United States, one of the largest importers of skilled services, are two countries that mirror these broader global trends. The scope for mutually beneficial trade is today inhibited not only by quotas and discriminatory taxation, but also by a number of domestic regulatory requirements--including qualification and licensing requirements. To illustrate the nature and implications of these regulatory impediments, this article focuses on the regulatory requirements that Indian professionals face in the US market. It explores the consequences of regulatory discrimination and the economic cost of regulations, and presents some illustrative estimates. The article concludes by examining how the trade-inhibiting impact of regulatory requirements could be addressed through bilateral and multilateral negotiations. Oxford University Press 2009, all rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Aaditya Mattoo & Deepak Mishra, 2009. "Foreign Professionals in the United States: Regulatory Impediments to Trade," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 435-456, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:12:y:2009:i:2:p:435-456

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    Cited by:

    1. Ratha, Dilip & Mohapatra, Sanket & Scheja, Elina, 2011. "Impact of migration on economic and social development : a review of evidence and emerging issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5558, The World Bank.

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