President Donald Trump on Tuesday will sign an executive order aimed at bolstering his pledge to "buy American and hire American" - two policy positions that have long been advocated by many groups that represent workers in the US.
Buy American refers to a set of procurement laws about how goods and manufactured products are obtained and how they are used in federal or federally funded projects. The executive order directs federal agencies to probe government procurement practices.
The Hire American set of laws and policies concern how US immigration, visa and guest worker programs are operated to ensure proper protections for American workers.
The new government order will re-examine all programs under which workers enter the United States from abroad — including H-1B visas, a key priority for tech companies.
A senior Trump administration official said that Buy American and Hire American rules have been enormously diluted over time. The waivers and exemptions process in Buy American have been abused greatly, resulting in many lost job opportunities for American workers.
The executive order will call for the strict enforcement of all laws governing entry into the United States of labor from abroad for the stated purpose of creating higher wages and higher employment rates for workers in the United States. "It will further call on the Departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State to take prompt action to crack down on fraud and abuse in our immigration system in order to protect workers in the United States and their economic conditions," the administration official told reporters Monday.
The executive order has an additional clause on the H1B visa program, which calls on those four departments to implement reforms to see to it that H1B visas are rewarded to the most skilled or highest-paid applicants.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will coordinate agency efforts to root out every single Buy American loophole, and then advise the President on how to properly close them.
President Trump has tasked Ross with reviewing all the agency findings and submitting a report to his desk within 220 days. This report and its recommendations will serve as a blueprint for additional executive and regulatory actions to further strengthen Buy American, as well as guide possible legislative proposals.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org