Donald Trump orders review of visa programme to encourage hiring Americans

Posted April 20, 2017

The H-1B visa programme allows numerous country's biggest tech firms and other multinationals to bring foreign workers to the USA, but federal bodies will now be instructed to crack down on abuse of the programme.

Even as Indian IT industry's representative body Nasscom on Wednesday said there will be no impact of the changed norms for H-1B visas under President Donald Trumps "Buy American, Hire American campaign, industries" lobby Assocham says IT companies are headed for disruption. "The executive order aspires to issue H-1B visas to the most skilled or highest paid, but this would most likely need to be done through a change in law in Congress", he said.

The White House said, US President Trump signed the executive order to promote American industry and protect it from unfair competition.

"Currently, companies routinely abuse the H-1B visa programme by replacing American workers with lower paid foreign workers", it said. Some have suggested that companies abuse the privilege and simply hire foreign workers to save money and drive down wages for American workers.

Trump also pledged support for Wisconsin dairy farmers who are caught in the midst of a trade dispute with Canada. In all, about 85,000 of the visas are awarded each year; in recent years, there have been several times that many applicants.

Reforming the H-1B visa system was one of the major election promises of Trump. The order will increase restrictions on the waivers that public agencies use to buy goods from overseas, require agency chiefs to sign off on any exemptions to domestic sourcing requirements and mandate that transportation projects use steel that has been "melted and poured" in the U.S.

Then, the order asks the Secretary of Commerce and trade representatives to evaluate free trade agreements, including NAFTA - of which Trump was critical during the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Trump said Canada has been "very, very unfair" to dairy farmers and "we're going to start working on that".

About 70 dairy producers in both Wisconsin and NY are affected.

"I am proud to stand with the President as he leads on prioritizing American workers and American products first".

World bank data showed the United States was the second largest source of remittance for India in 2015, behind Saudi Arabia, with about $10.96 billion - almost 16 percent of the total - being sent to India. Ironically enough, the man who has continuously railed against other companies for taking jobs away from USA citizens has had many of his own products made overseas. His businesses have also hired foreign workers, including at his Palm Beach, Florida, club.

Snap-on makes hand and power tools, diagnostics software, information and management systems and shop equipment for use in agriculture, the military and aviation.

During his tour, Trump was shown metal boxes where cremated ashes are deposited.