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« Trump: The First Year

Trump targets visas program for highly skilled workers



Published: Tue, April 18, 2017 @ 1:25 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump hopes to revive the economic populism that helped drive his election campaign today, signing an order in politically important Wisconsin to tighten rules on technology companies bringing in highly skilled foreign workers.

At a the headquarters of a big-name tool manufacturer, Trump is expected to sign an order aimed at curbing what his administration says are abuses in a visa program used by U.S. technology companies that harm American workers. Dubbed "Buy American, Hire American," the directive follows a series of recent Trump reversals on economic policies.

The president is to sign the directive at Snap-on Inc. in Kenosha, Wis., a state he narrowly carried in November on the strength of support from white, working-class voters. Trump currently has only a 41 percent approval rating in the state.

He is targeting the H-1B visa program, which the White House says undercuts American workers by bringing in large numbers of cheaper, foreign workers, driving down wages.

The tech industry has argued that the H-1B program is needed because it encourages students to stay in the U.S. after getting degrees in high-tech specialties – and companies can't always find enough American workers with the skills they need.

Trump has traveled to promote his agenda less than his recent predecessors. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he wanted to visit "a company that builds American-made tools with American workers."


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