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20 April 2017, 06:06 | Erica Roy
Trump signed a "Buy American, Hire American" executive order on Tuesday, promising to protect USA workers by overhauling the H-1B visa program that is used mainly by Indian engineers and developers.
"The President's Buy American, Hire American Executive Order directs the Secretaries of the appropriate agencies to examine the H-1B visa programme and identify reforms that will root out fraud and abuse to ultimately make the programme more workable for American businesses while protecting American workers", he said. Indian nationals are now the highest number of applicants. None responded to requests for comment. Trump signed the order after visiting a tool factory at Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the Chicago-Milwaukee industrial corridor.
In addition to addressing the visas issue, he also ordered a review of government procurement rules favouring American companies to see if they are actually benefiting, especially the USA steel industry.
The US president said the order aims to "aggressively promote and use American-made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job", adding that the move was in line with his plans to put "America First".
The H1-B visa program is used primarily for the upper tier of highly-skilled workers in the science, medical and engineering fields. Many Trump-branded products are manufactured overseas, mostly in China.
It was unclear whether the latest such order would yield immediate results. The government procurement section did. "Does that make sense?" he said. "So they've said before and they said again after [Tuesday's] executive order that they're doubling-down on training and they're trying to find American talent, but not having enough luck".
White House said the order "calls on the executive branch to fully enforce the laws governing the entry of foreign workers into the US economy, to promote rising wages and more employment".
"It's very hard, either they're not qualified, and one of the big things, it's a seasonal job", Mr. Trump said.
Donald Trump while making the announcement said that this was to protect Americans and their jobs.
The ban is also expected to levy a blow to the tech industry, as many foreign nationals immigrate on the H-1B visa. The visas are meant to go to foreign nationals in occupations that generally require specialised knowledge, such as science, engineering or computer programming.
As mandated by the Congress, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) every year issues 65,000 H-1B visas and another 20,000 to those applicants having masters and higher degrees from a US educational institution.
Trump made it clear that he doesn't agree with fact that H-1Bs are now doled out under a lottery system.
"I've introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Durbin to address these problems, and I've expressed to President Trump the need to take action to restore the integrity in the H-1B Programme", Grassley said. But his new executive order only overhauls the much discussed H-1B visa program, targeting high-skilled foreign labor.
USA has been the key market for Indian IT firms, which have been among the biggest users of the H-1B visa program. Facebook did not respond to requests for comment.
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