Trump signs order on high-skilled worker visas


President Donald Trump at Snap-On tools in Kenosha, Wis., Tuesday.

The moves show Trump once again using his power to issue executive orders to try to fulfill promises he made a year ago in his election campaign, in this case to reform USA immigration policies and encourage purchases of American products.

"What the White House is calling it's "Buy American, Hire American" order, it would beef up some protections for specific products made in the USA, while also initiating a review of the program for skilled immigrants, which the White House and plenty of other critics say has been abused by corporate America".

A senior Trump administration official argued on Monday that the H-1B visas are supposed to be awarded to highly qualified workers, but often bring in less skilled employees who earn lower wages than those they are meant to replace.

The "Buy American" section of the order seeks to maximise the amount of American-made goods used in federally funded projects. The order also specifically asks the secretary to review waivers of these rules in free-trade agreements. "No one can compete with American workers when they're given a fair and level playing field, which has not happened for decades", Leading news agecny PTI quoted Trump as saying. "And we should end it".

The officials said reform could first come through administrative changes, such as raising the visa application fees, adjusting the wage scale to more accurately reflect prevailing salaries in the tech industry, and more vigorously enforcing violations.

During the campaign, Donald Trump promised to eliminate the H-1B visa program, though he flip-flopped on the issue many times.

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Tillerson is right that "the world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship". Trump followed up at a joint White House news conference with NATO's secretary-general.

Infosys, India's No. 2 IT services firm, has said previously that it is ramping up work on on-site development centers in the United States to train local talent in an effort to address the visa regulation changes under consideration.

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats claimed the president had still done nothing to support American workers, for example approving the construction of the Keystone pipeline with the use of foreign steel. "The reality of it is that employers are not required to recruit and try to hire US workers before they hire an H-1B worker".

Voicing immediate reservations about the decree, the US Chamber of Commerce, however, warned the Trump administration not to do away with the whole H-1B scheme, also acknowledging that there was room for improving the program. But he added, "It's not as aggressive as it needs to be". H-1B visa applications fell to 199,000 this year from 236,000 last year, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. One, introduced by Sen. "It's too little, too late", said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, the No.2 Democrat in the Senate.

Trump said the order sends a "powerful signal to the world" that the US will defend its workers, protect their jobs and put America first. But Trump is now facing a 41 percent approval in the state. House Speaker Paul Ryan was unable to attend because he's leading a congressional delegation on an overseas trip this week.

Trump has traveled to promote his agenda less than his recent predecessors.

"With this action, we are sending a powerful signal to the world: We're going to defend our workers, protect our jobs, and finally put America first", Trump told hundreds of factory workers before signing the document.

Trump carried Wisconsin in November by under 23,000 votes - less than 1 percentage point - making him the first Republican to win the state since 1984. He campaigned on the promise of returning manufacturing jobs that have been lost in Upper Midwest states.