WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Donald Trump will sign a new Executive Order on Tuesday ordering a review of guest worker visa programs and enforcing existing “buy American, hire American” requirements on federal agencies and contractors, a Senior White House Official told reporters.
"Buy American is the Trump Administration’s highest priority when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars," the official said.
The official claimed that the specific policy positions in the order, which Trump will sign during a trip to Snap-on Tools in Kenosha, Wisconsin, have been supported by American labor advocacy groups for many years.
The Hire American provisions of the order provide for a review of current guest worker programs, particular the H-1B visa program, which the official said has been subject to regulations that have been "enormously diluted" over many years.
The order will call for strict enforcement of current rules to make sure H-1B visas are only used to fill jobs when American workers are not available, the official explained.
In addition, the order will put forward reforms to change the H-1B visa system from a lottery to one in which the most skilled and highest-paid applicants receive visas. This is a change from the current system in which foreign workers on H-1B and other guest worker visas are often paid a fraction of the prevailing wage for the jobs they are brought here to do.
Despite Trump’s concern over abuse of guest worker programs, Trump himself has been a frequent user of such visas at his Mar-a-Lago club, which is staffed mainly by foreign workers. But the official said that inconsistency is not relevant to Trump’s position as far as the order is concerned, since he hires guest workers as the owner of a business and the orders are being issued in his capacity as President.
“The Buy American portion of the order ushers in a new more muscular foreign policy, maximizing made-in-America content and minimizing waivers to Buy American laws," the official claimed.
Buy American laws date back to the Buy American Act of 1933 and the Surface Transportation Act of 1973. The laws require both federal government agencies and federal contractors using federal funds on roads, railroads and other infrastructure projects to use American products.