In business dealings, Donald Trump has ignored 'Buy American' ethos
Apr 20 2017 by Larry Hoffman
The technology industry relies heavily on the H-1B visa program to bring in engineering talent from overseas, and executives say they simply can not hire enough American workers to fill jobs at their companies. Indian nationals are now the highest number of applicants. Many go to technology companies, which argue that the United States has a shortage of skilled technology workers.
AK Steel did not respond to requests for comment.
Trump is expected to sign the order during a visit to the Snap-on tool company in Kenosha, Wis.
In addition to addressing the visas issue, he also ordered a review of government procurement rules favouring American companies to see if they are actually benefiting, especially the US steel industry.
Trump's election campaign had been marred by his disparaging remarks against minorities in the US, including a call to ban all Muslims from coming to America as well as stopping Mexican migrants by building a long wall along the US-Mexico border. Many Trump-branded products, such as clothing, are made overseas.
As he nears the 100-day benchmark of his presidency, Trump still has no major legislative achievements.
The order is more administrative in nature than a clear policy change.
About 85,000 H-1B visas are distributed annually by lottery. The government procurement section did.
The decline in employers seeking temporary visas for low-wage foreign workers is a direct result of President Donald Trump's pledge to penalize USA companies that replace American workers with cheap immigrant labor, according to immigration experts.
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Moreover, the EO says "in order to create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States, and to protect their economic interests, it shall be the policy of the executive branch to rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from overseas".
There are dissenting voices from Democrats and Republicans in Congress, who claim Trump was too late in his decision to sign off an executive order with this year's batch of visas handed out.
Trump says the order will help American workers whose jobs are threatened by skilled immigrants, which is what he promised to do on the campaign trail.
Cutting off the supply of goods not made in the United States would create fresh problems for US companies, he said.
"We already know H-1B visa abuse hurts American workers".
"We believe the American strength is rooted in the ability to make things and fix things", he explained. "They voted to bring back their jobs, and to bring back their dreams into our country", Trump said.
The government uses a lottery system to grant 65,000 visas every year and randomly distributes an additional 20,000 to graduate students. It also proposes changes, such as awarding H-1B visas to guest workers with the best skills and highest potential wages, rather than through a random lottery as is done now. Facebook did not respond to requests for comment.
The US has already moved on addressing this issue by announcing a new set of guidelines for those qualifying for H-1B visas.
The US visa review is not a cause of concern for Indian IT firms as they already comply with all rules, Nasscom's president R Chandrasekhar told CNBC-TV18.