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Trump Buy American Hire American Order Tighten Visa Rules for Skilled Foreign Workers

Trump Buy American Hire American Order

Trump Buy American Hire American Order Update: President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that would tighten rules that award visas to skilled foreign workers and directs the federal government to enforce rules that bar foreign contractors from bidding on federal projects.

The order is a first effort to promote a “Buy American, Hire American” agenda, a key promise Trump made during the campaign.

Speaking at the headquarters of Wisconsin-based toolmaker Snap-on, Trump said that the Trump Buy American Hire American Order “declares that the policy of our government is to aggressively promote and use American-made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job.”

Trump said:

“We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure more products are stamped with those wonderful words ‘Made in the USA, for too long we’ve watched as our factories have been closed and our jobs have been sent to faraway lands.”

The return to Wisconsin is a first for Trump, who narrowly won the state by about 27,000 votes over Democrat Hillary Clinton. But the victory punctured a decades-long history of Rust Belt states remaining solidly in the Democratic column.

During the campaign, Trump railed against free-trade deals, outsourcing of U.S. jobs and the death of American manufacturing in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The message seemed to resonate more than expected with white, blue-collar workers who have for years been drifting away from the Democratic Party.

Trump Buy American Hire American Order

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With the signing of this Trump Buy American Hire American Order, senior administration officials said Monday during a briefing with reporters that the White House is moving forward with an agenda that cuts across party lines. Labor unions, which typically lean Democratic, have long complained about free-trade pacts that they say leave American workers behind, and the “Buy American, Hire American” mantra is one that both parties are eager to support.

One senior administration official said:

“Those are two very specific policy positions that have long been advocated by many groups that represent workers in our country in particular by many labor unions and labor groups in our country.”

The Trump Buy American Hire American Order directs federal agencies to crack down on fraud and abuse in the H-1B visa program, which is heavily used by technology companies. And it directs the federal government to fully enforce federal guidelines prioritizing the use of American firms and goods in federal projects.

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Both changes are aimed at discouraging the use of foreign labor, which the administration says displaces American workers and reduces wages. It also aims to give a boost to U.S. steel mills and steelworkers.

While Trump made buying American made products and hiring American workers a theme of his campaign, his business practices often contradicted his political rhetoric. Parts of his clothing line were manufactured abroad and he hired foreign workers at many of his properties.

H-1B visas and Pakistan

The visas enables the companies to hire foreign workers for a three year period. The workers are normally required to have specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the field of science, engineering, and information technology.

These workers are widely employed in Silicon Valley, where firms such as Tata Infosys, and Cognizant have the highest percentage of foreign employees.

Trump Buy American Hire American Order

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According to Bloomberg, on average, companies pay $65,000 to $75,000 a year to H-1B workers. On the other hand, Google and Microsoft average a $100,000 salary on yearly basis.

Close to 70% of the H-1B visas go to Indian workers whereas in 2016, Pakistan ranked 17th with 601 H-1B visa applications.

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