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India to Trump: America still needs our tech workers

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Eleena Tovar | 20 Abril, 2017, 13:30

Seeking to carry out a campaign pledge to put "America First", Trump signed an executive order on the H-1B visa programme.

The White House said the program is now undercutting American workers by bringing in cheaper labor and said some tech companies are using it to hire large numbers of workers and drive down wages.

President Trump expressed support Tuesday for a Democratic bill that would increase federal requirements to use American-made products in construction projects. The order will direct the Departments of Labor, Justice, State and Homeland Security to crack down on fraud and abuse in guest-worker programs by issuing new immigration rules, The Washington Post reported.

"This historic act of leadership from President Trump makes unequivocally clear that this Administration will serve and protect the American worker - fighting for fair trade and immigration policies that promote rising wages and employment for our hardworking citizens". "Developing incentives to buy American-made products and hire American workers is a key part of the President's commitment to job growth and stimulating our economy".

Much like some prior orders, however, Trump's executive action Tuesday essentially looks for detailed reports rather than making decisive changes. They would also be asked to offer changes so that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid applicants.

Trump and other critics of the program say it is abused by those Indian firms, who - they claim - flood the visa lottery with applications and then send workers to the US on salaries that undercut their American counterparts.

So will this executive worker help American workers and products?

As the debate over specialized visas grows, companies such as Amazon (AMZN), Intel (INTC), Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google and Apple (AAPL) that hire H-1B workers may start to distance themselves from outsourcing companies such as Tata, Infosys (INFY), and Cognizant (CTSH) that have drawn White House criticism. His businesses have also hired foreign workers, including at his Palm Beach, Florida, club.

During his campaign, Trump said at some point that he supported high-skilled visas, then came out against them.

Critics say the program has been hijacked by staffing companies that use the visas to recruit foreigners - often from India - who will work for less than Americans. The U.S. workers are sometimes asked to train their replacements to qualify for severance packages.

"I think you can make a strong case for expanding the H-1B visa program to allow more visas", Bauer said. But he added, "It's not as aggressive as it needs to be".

Snap-on makes hand and power tools, diagnostics software, information and management systems, and shop equipment for use in various industries, including agriculture, the military and aviation.

Trump carried Wisconsin in November by almost 23,000 votes - less than 1 percentage point - making him the first Republican to win the state since 1984.

Cordio said training domestic workers will require additional investment from companies.

"The Executive Order the President signed today ushers in a new, more muscular Buy American policy based on the twin pillars of maximizing Made in America content and minimizing waivers and exceptions to Buy American laws". He campaigned on the promise of returning manufacturing jobs that have been lost in Upper Midwest states.