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Infosys exec downplays Trump economy as reason for U.S. expansion

April 26, 2018

Did Donald Trump’s economic agenda play a role in luring global tech giant Infosys Ltd. to bring jobs and investments to Indianapolis and other U.S. cities? Depends on whom you ask.

During their visit to Indianapolis on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence and the U.S. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta were quick to highlight the Trump administration's economic agenda—including tax cuts and reductions in red tape—as key reasons for Infosys' decision to invest in the United States. But one of the company’s top leaders said the decision had more to do with the company's needs.

“Today’s announcement really is a tribute,” Pence said in a press conference announcing Infosys' decision to build a $245 million airport campus in Indianapolis. “It’s a tribute to a great company. It’s a tribute to a great state and the leadership of a great state at every level. But I also believe it is a tribute to the agenda that President Trump has been advancing with strong support on Capitol Hill from very early in this administration."

Acosta also praised the "Trump economy” at the event.

But in interviews after the announcement, U.S., Infosys President Ravi Kumar downplayed the effect Trump, tax cuts or more than $100 million in economic development incentives played in the company's decision.

When asked by a reporter how much the tax cuts influenced Infosys’ decision to scale up in the United States, Kumar said Infosys made the decision because it was “focused on the needs of our clients” and wanted to be closer and more accessible to them.

And Kumar said while the state’s financial support was “one of the important considerations” in deciding to locate in Indiana, it was not the main reason.

Instead, Kumar said, Infosys was impressed by Indiana’s large network of quality colleges and universities. The firm has already partnered with Purdue University to help with employee training.

“What we need is good schools and colleges,” he said. “We are creating net new talent that doesn’t exist.”

Infosys isn't opposed to saving money on its federal taxes, however. In January, the company signed an advance pricing agreement with the IRS that reduced its U.S. tax burden by one percentage point until 2021, saving the company $225 million.

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