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20 April 2017, 02:01 | Laverne Osborne
Tech industry is fine with H-1B visa reform — as long as it doesn't affect their companiesMore
Trump headed to Kenosha on Tuesday, where he signed the order dubbed "Buy American, Hire American. Instead, they should be given to most skilled and highest paid applicants and they should never, ever be used to replace Americans", Trump told workers, executives, and reporters in Wisconsin.
Trump and other critics of the program say it is abused by those Indian firms, who - they claim - flood the visa lottery with applications and then send workers to the US on salaries that undercut their American counterparts.
Trump's order also directs federal agencies to maximize the amount of American goods they buy and minimize the use of waivers to skirt existing "buy American" rules. The administration said that if the waivers are not benefiting the United States they will be "renegotiated or revoked".
Technology companies prize the H-1B visa program because it lets fast-growing employers fill jobs that they say can't be satisfied by domestic workers. At one debate, he called for fully ending the program, saying: "It's very bad for our workers and it's unfair for our workers".
"We hope the goal of President Trump's executive order on the H-1B programme is 'mend it, don*t end it, '" said Mr Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a technology industry group.
Senator Chuck Grassley, an author of legislation to reform the H-1B and L-1 skilled work visa programs, said it is time to take action against the abuse of H-1B visa system.
"Right now H-1B visas are awarded in a totally random lottery and that's wrong". The Chamber of Commerce added that it would be a "mistake to close the door on high-skilled workers" who can contribute to the growth and expansion of American businesses and make the US more competitive around the world.
Ronil Hira, a professor in public policy at Howard University and a critic of the H-1B program, said Trump's planned order is "better than nothing". But he added, "It's not as aggressive as it needs to be".
It's unclear how the program may change, but India's huge tech industry says America still has a shortage of skilled workers that the H-1B system was created to ease.
"The current campaign to discredit our sector is driven by persistent myths, such as the ideas that H-1B visa holders are "cheap labor" and "displace American workers" who 'train their replacements, ' none of which is accurate", the Indian industry association said. Dick Durbin and Iowa Republican Sen.
The document also directed government institutions to review current procurement requirements and step up the effort to limit government purchase to USA made goods.
Snap-on Chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk said Tuesday he was pleased with President Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" speech at the company's headquarters in Wisconsin. The visit also would take him to the congressional district of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who won't be joining the president because he's on a bipartisan congressional trip visiting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.
"This historic action declares that the policy of the government is to aggressively promote and use American-made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job", Trump said. The White House said that about 80 percent of H-1B workers are paid below the median wage in their industries.
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. The company employs about 11,000 people worldwide.
President Donald Trump is planning to sign an executive order that seeks to make changes to a visa program that brings in high-skilled workers.
Bill Hickey, president of Chicago-based Lapham-Hickey Steel, which has seven steel mills in the Midwest and Northeast, said he has heard talk of "Buy American" for decades, but American or foreign contractors frequently find loopholes to use imported steel.
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