Trump's made-in-America steel evangelism has its skeptics

Louis Holland
April 21, 2017

Trump's executive order directs federal agencies to crack down on fraud and abuse of the program and generate more reports on it, Repko says.

"We believe jobs must be offered to American workers first", Trump told the audience at the Snap-on Tools Headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he signed the executive order. Trump will also instruct the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that H-1B visas are not used to undercut United States workers and wages. The "Buy American, Hire American" executive order will also put forward policies to protect American goods.

While the program has been criticized for allowing firms to pay workers lower wages, the Trump administration is trying to make getting an H-1B visa in the first place more hard.

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Trump made it clear that this order declares that American projects should be made with American goods.

The 220-day review proceedings will attempt to move the current H-1B programme towards a more merit-based system, steering it away from the random lottery under which it now operates. American jobs are sometimes replaced in the process.

According to the executive order signed by Trump, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labour, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.

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"The Executive Order the President signed today ushers in a new, more muscular Buy American policy based on the twin pillars of maximizing Made in America content and minimizing waivers and exceptions to Buy American laws". The H-1B visa program allots temporary visa to foreign workers with specialized skills to fill in some gaps in the working industry, mostly in IT and Engineering, according to Business Insider. Critics of the program claim staffing companies are undercutting American wages by using the visas to recruit foreign labor and then contracting those workers to large companies. Other visa programs, like the H-2B seasonal worker visa that Trump himself uses to staff his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., will be largely unaffected. As per several U.S. reports, a majority of the H-1B visas every year is grabbed by Indian IT professionals.

Thousands of Indian professionals are employed by American companies annually through these time-limited work permits meant for scientists, engineers and computer programmers sought by Silicon Valley. In putting pen to paper on this matter, Trump is looking to bring to fruition his campaign promise to support domestic blue-collar workers and USA job creation.

About 85,000 H-1B visas are distributed annually by lottery.

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What's more, the executive orders will also require federal agencies to review and minimise the use of waivers and exceptions in global trade agreements.

Other reports by Info About Network

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