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VERIFY: Buy American, Hire American - what does executive order actually do?
March 23 2018, 10:47 | Alonzo Simpson
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross today
As for the labor component of Trump's executive order, foreign visa programs require a level of labor predictability that construction companies rarely have, so that portion of the order should have limited impact on the industry in general.
It will call on the departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State to take action to crack down on what the official called "fraud and abuse" in the US immigration system to protect American workers. The additional scrutiny DHS has ordered will include "site visits" to determine whether "H-1B dependent employers are evading their obligation to make a good faith effort to recruit US workers", the Trump administration says.
In order for Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort to hire foreign workers, it applies for H-2B visas which allow "U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs", according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
As the president pointed out in his visit, there are a lot of good workforce development initiatives going on here in America, including Snap-On's partnership with Gateway Technical College, which the president mentioned by name.
But the White House said the programme is undercutting American workers by bringing in cheaper labour and that some tech companies are using it to hire large numbers of workers and drive down wages.
Commenting on the Australian government's decision to scrap 457 visa category, Nasscom said, "We will be working closely with the Government of India and Australian government to understand more details on the changes and ensure how these could be implemented seamlessly to ensure business continuity and value for Australian customers", the statement said.
Although H-1Bs are the main focus of the order, other guest worker programs could also come under scrutiny.
"The buy-and-hire American order I'm about to sign will protect workers and students like you", Trump said.
Contrary to recent rhetoric, she said H-1B visas do not generally act as a mechanism to replace American workers.
As for the H-1B visa program, Trump said visas are awarded in a random lottery.
The Order also targets the abusive use of waivers and exceptions that undermine "Buy American" laws meant to promote taxpayer money going to American companies.
Critics say the lottery benefits outsourcing firms that flood the system with mass applications for visas for lower-paid information technology workers. This could spell doom for IT companies as a lot of them have offices there.