President Trump is signing a new executive order that is intended to bolster his “Buy and Hire American” initiative, reduce the advantages given to highly skilled foreign workers, and begin bringing jobs back to the country.
The order is intended to put some sanity back into the H-1B visa program, which is driving down domestic wages by putting American workers in direct competition with foreigners who can do the job for much less money…thanks to government subsidies.
Corporations, particularly those in the technology sector, say the program keeps foreign students in the U.S. after getting an American education. This is apparently important for some reason.
Trump is not necessarily proposing to end the program; rather, the order directs his Cabinet heads to examine the system and come up with changes that could be made to cut down on abuse. Furthermore, the order is reportedly asking for ways in which the administration can ensure that American products – steel, etc – are being used in federal construction and transportation projects.
The White House says that 80% of foreign workers who come to the U.S. on the visa are paid less than the average wage earned by domestic employees in the same jobs. Under the potential parameters of the order, American employers would be required to demonstrate that visa applicants are exceptionally talented/skilled, and it may impose wage requirements on top of that.
If there’s a catch, it’s that such a crackdown could inspire more tech companies to move their headquarters to other countries, which would only compound the issues Trump is trying to solve. On the other hand, if Trump is serious about imposing steep tariffs on companies that flee, we could see an intense showdown between Silicon Valley and the president.
Still, Trump doesn’t have to take drastic measures right now. Just by moving the ball a little ways down the field in America’s direction, he’s rolling back the globalist philosophies that have locked U.S. wages in place for decades. We don’t have to suddenly shut down our borders. We don’t have to adopt a severely protectionist posture.
We just have to start examining some of these programs, trade deals, and mechanisms and make sure they are in the best interests of the American people – NOT just Fortune 500 megacorporations.