Ignoring India's concerns and veiled warning that it would drag the US to the World Trade Organisation, President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that would provide free health care to the first responders of the twin-tower terrorist attack in New York in September 2001.
Obama took some time off from his vacation in Hawaii to sign the bill that provides for a fund of USD 4.2 billion for the free health care to 9/11 responders, a portion of which is being raised by extending an increase in some categories of H-1B visa fee that would mainly affect Indian IT companies. India has objected to such an increase.
It also imposes a two per cent levy on goods and services the US imports from certain developing countries, including India. An extension in increase in H-1B visa fee is estimated to cost Indian companies USD 200 million.
Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had termed it as a retrograde step for greater trade engagement with the US.
"I was honoured to sign the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to ensure that rescue and recovery workers, residents, students, and others suffering from health consequences related to the World Trade Center disaster have access to the medical monitoring and treatment they need," Obama said in his signing statement.
"We will never forget the selfless courage demonstrated by the firefighters, police officers, and first responders who risked their lives to save others. I believe this is a critical step for those who continue to bear the physical scars of those attacks," he said.
The bill is named after James Zadroga, an NYPD detective who died of 9/11-related illnesses. "It was a bittersweet battle and this is a bittersweet victory," said Joseph Zadroga, father of James Zadroga.
Obama Sidelines India, Signs 9/11 Health Care Bill
THE LATEST ISSUE
- People Were Unhappy When BJP Could Not Return To Power: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
- SRH Vs KKR: Bairstow Out, Hyderabad Suddenly Three Down; 80/3 (11)
- ‘I Hope And Wish And Pray Bihar Doesn’t Throw Up A Khichdi Sarkar’
- Will It Be Nitish Kumar For The Fourth Time? Or Are There Cracks In His Citadel?
- Deity, Donations And Divine Intervention
- Why Jofra Archer, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje Making IPL A Connoisseur’s Delight
- Chennai Super Kings' Belief In Shane Watson Surreal, But That's What MS Dhoni Is All About!
- IPL 2020: KL Rahul’s Record Century, Yuzvendra Chahal’s Clever Bowling Highlights Of Week 1
- IPL 2020: Emergence Of The Team Psychologist And T20 Spinner
- IPL 2020: Expect Run Outs, Batting Collapses And Run Freeze In Initial Matches In UAE
- Woman Scribes' Rift Over Rhea Chakraborty Exposes TV-Print Divide
- Unplugged: 4 Ghost Stories, And The Crows
- Judges Must Be Able To Withstand Pressure, Says Justice N.V. Ramana
- Whiskey Or Whisky – What's The Difference?
- Pollution May Increase Virus Transmissibility: Experts
- MI Vs KXIP: All Eyes On Chris Gayle In Dubai
- Koeman Hits Out At 'Lack Of Respect'
- 'Kah-Mah-Lah', Rival Senator Taunts Kamala Harris
- Heavy Overnight Downpour In Hyderabad Leaves Many Areas Flooded