President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to review a temporary visa programme used to place foreign workers in high-skilled US jobs. The order directs agencies to enforce government rules on excluding foreign contractors from bids for government projects.
He signed the so-called Buy America, Hire America order on a visit to a tool factory in the US state of Wisconsin. The order is aimed at fulfilling his “America First” campaign promises. But it falls way short of Mr Trump’s campaign pledge to end the H-1B visa programme.
Mr Trump will direct the departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security and Labour to propose reforms to the scheme, which he says allows American employers to bring foreign workers to fill US jobs.
The tech industry has argued that the H-1B programme is needed because it encourages students to stay in the US after getting degrees in high-tech specialties, and that they cannot always find enough American workers with the skills they need.