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20 April 2017, 04:16 | Myron Mathis
On Tuesday, President Trump traveled to Wisconsin where he signed an Executive Order that reinforces existing law to make certain federal dollars give priority to American-made goods.
He said the order sets in motion the first steps to initiate "long-overdue" reforms to end "visa abuses". USA government data shows that almost 127,000 were granted to Indian applicants previous year.
The H-1B visa program paves the way for the majority of highly-skilled workers from other countries to work in the U.S. The visas are doled out through a lottery system, and there are usually about three times as many applicants as there are visas.
Trump called the order "a powerful signal to the world" that "finally puts America first".
Specifically, Trump's administration believes the current system led to a "flood" of relatively low-wage, low-skill workers in the tech sector. "Does that make sense?" he said.
As he nears the 100-day benchmark of his presidency, Trump still has no major legislative achievements. But privately executives at most Indian IT firms will admit they are anxious.
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.
"It's very hard, either they're not qualified, and one of the big things, it's a seasonal job", Mr. Trump said.
President Trump has signed an order which will revamp the H-1B program, which is now used to employ highly skilled workers from overseas.
Melissa Repko, with the Dallas Morning News, says mainly tech companies and outsourcing firms - many of which are based in India - have a high percentage of workers with an H-1B visa. "These "Buy American, Hire American" initiatives will stimulate economic and wage growth, while ensuring that our government is using high quality products that are Made in the U.S.A".
Trump made it clear that he doesn't agree with fact that H-1Bs are now doled out under a lottery system.
The tech industry has argued that the H-1B program is needed because it encourages students to stay in the USA after getting degrees in high-tech specialties - and they can't always find enough American workers with the skills they need.
The government uses a lottery to award 65,000 visas every year and randomly distributes another 20,000 to graduate student workers. This year, 199,000 applications were received, CNN reported.
It was unclear whether the latest such order would yield immediate results.
Much like some prior orders, however, Trump's executive action Tuesday essentially looks for detailed reports rather than making decisive changes.
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