President Trump signed an executive order aimed at encouraging federal agencies to “Buy American, Hire American,” but managed to make some digs at the U.S.’s northern neighbor in the process.
Trump called out Canada, claiming trade deals impede Wisconsin’s dairy farmers.
“We are going to stand up for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin… that demands really, immediately fair trade with all our trading partners, and that includes Canada,” he said. “Because in Canada, some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers. And we’re going to start working on that.”
Trump’s order calls for a crackdown on H-1B visas and stronger enforcement of laws that determine the entry of foreign workers into the United States. The directive calls on the Departments of Justice, Labor, Homeland Security and State to crack down on any abuse in the system in an effort to protect U.S. workers.
H-1B visas are generally granted to foreign workers with a bachelors degree or higher who work in “specialty occupations” – science, engineering, and information technology are listed on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website – providing temporary employment with a company in the United States.
Although Trump had called for the elimination of the H-1B visa program during the 2016 campaign, which this order doesn’t do, the White House says reforms of the visa program would result in the employment of more workers in the United States.
The order was greeted with cautious enthusiasm by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who noted it was a step in the right direction but legislation is still necessary. “Executive orders alone cannot accomplish the sweeping changes necessary to achieve a fairer, more inclusive economy, so we urge the administration to work with Congress to further improve these programs, Trumka said in a statement.