On April 18th, President Donald Trump signed executive order “Buy American and Hire American,” to continue with his campaign promise to put Americans first. He claimed that the order would promote and use American-made goods as well as ensuring American labor is used first. The executive order took aim at the H-1B visa program, which under the government allows 85,000 foreign workers annually, where many are highly skilled in the tech, industrial and medical & science fields. President Trump has previously criticized the program and believed that American employers were abusing it to hire foreign workers instead of higher salaried American workers.
However, the executive order does not take direct action to change the program, but it initiates a series of reviews and assessments calling on federal departments (Specifically named: the Secretary of State, Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security) to begin proposing reforms to the programs. The executive order directs federal agents to strictly enforce H-1B visa laws and propose reforms to the program to prevent fraud and abuse as well as ensuring the visas are used on the highest skilled workers.
The “Buy American” section of the executive order is aimed at directing the federal government to provide a preference for the purchase of goods, products, or materials produced in the U.S., including steel, iron, and manufactured goods for federal projects.
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