What Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order Means for Your Business

April 20, 2017 | Appeals | Commercial Litigation | Corporate

On April 18, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order entitled “Buy American and Hire American.”

The Order states that the Executive Branch’s official policy is “to rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad,” in an effort “to create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States, and to protect their economic interests.”

The Order directs certain administrative agencies to “propose new rules and issue new guidance to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse.” The Order further directs certain agencies to “suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest paid petition beneficiaries” for the purpose of promoting “the proper functioning of the H-1B visa program.”

Here’s what business owners and employees should know:

  • The Order does not make any changes to the H-1B program in particular or immigration law in general.
  • The Order will not affect the adjudication of any H-1B applications currently pending.
  • The Order foreshadows the legislative reforms that President Trump will propose to Congress, such as replacing the H-1B lottery with a merit-based system that awards visas to foreign nationals filling the highest paid positions.

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