Trump order would target high skilled worker visa program

President Donald Trump speaks at Snap On Tools Tuesday

US President Donald Trump has ordered federal agencies to look at tightening a temporary visa programme used to bring high-skilled foreign workers to the United States.

Founded in Wisconsin in 1920, Snap-on makes hand and power tools, diagnostics software, information and management systems, and shop equipment for use in a variety of industries, including agriculture, the military and aviation.

Today, Trump signed an executive order dubbed "Buy American, Hire American".

"That are created to protect jobs and wages", said President Trump.

"Both "buy American" and "hire American" rules have been enormously diluted over time resulting in many lost job opportunities for American workers", one senior administration official said, adding that groups on both sides of the aisle have called for reforms of those rules to no avail.

The order he will sign on Tuesday will call for "the strict enforcement of all laws governing entry into the United States of labor from overseas for the stated goal of creating higher wages and higher employment rates for workers in the United States", one of the senior officials said.

Buy American law requires that when federal funds are used there is a requirement of using American made goods, according to President Trump.

"With this action, we're sending a powerful signal to the world and we're going to protect our jobs and finally put America first", he said during a speech at Snap-On Tools in Wisconsin.

"Right now H-1B visas are awarded in a totally random lottery and that's wrong".

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump will take another step toward keeping his campaign promise of putting America first.

"An abuse of the H-1B visa program is to bring in a worker not because you need their skills or talent, but for the goal of undercutting the American worker", unnamed senior officials said during a press briefing Monday.

Trump will sign the executive order during a trip Tuesday to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he will tour the headquarters of Snap-on-Tools, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer, and deliver a speech about U.S. manufacturing. With his attempts to overhaul healthcare and tax law not bearing fruit so far in a Congress controlled by his fellow Republicans, Trump has leaned heavily on executive orders to seek changes to the US economy.

Specifically, the review will take into account whether waivers in free-trade agreements are leading to unfair trade by allowing foreign companies to undercut American companies in the global government procurement market.

The United States issues 85,000 of the permits each year.

The number of H-1B applicants has actually been on the decline this year, as Trump's rhetoric appears to have played a part in reversing what had been a four-year upward climb.

Trump said at one point during the presidential campaign that he supported high-skilled visas, then said he opposed the program.

"The premise of the "review" is that H-1B visas are allegedly being abused by staffing firms who use it to outsource jobs to cheaper labor and away from Americans qualified to do those jobs", said Michael Schutzler, CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association.

Earlier this year, Trump said he mandated the use of USA -made steel after learning that the Keystone XL oil pipeline was made with imported steel.

Trump carried Wisconsin in November by almost 23,000 votes " less than 1 percentage point " making him the first Republican to win the state since 1984.



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