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How Trump's 'Buy American' order could play out

21 April 2017

Two senior Trump administration officials who briefed reporters at the White House said Trump will also use the "buy American and hire American" order to seek changes in government procurement practices to increase the purchase of American products in federal contracts.

"The buy and hire American order, I'm about to sign, will help protect workers and students like those of you in the audience today", said Trump to the employees at Snap-on.

After the trouble with H-1B visas, Indian IT professionals are being denied visas by Singapore and other countries as well, which have developed a sudden aversion to foreign workers.

Meanwhile, some U.S. lawmakers said the executive order signed by Trump calling for a review of H-1B visas was too little and too late.

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The officials also said that 80 percent of the H1-B visa petitioners who enter the United States under the current visa programme are paid less than the median wage workers in their field.

U.S. President Donald Trump's plans to tighten visa norms for skilled workers could potentially hurt margins at India's IT services providers and may lead to layoffs in the sector, according to industry analysts.

Moreover, the United States government suspending the fast-tracking of H1B visas for 6 months is also a rude shock. The company has used existing visa waiver laws in order to fill positions with foreign workers in Trump properties such as Mar-a-Lago and Trump Winery. One essential program to this strategy is the H-1B visa program, which allows skilled laborers in "specialty occupations" to live and work in the USA for a period of three years, which is subsequently subject to renewal.

During the presidential campaign, Trump confirmed to ABC that many Trump-branded products were manufactured overseas in China, Mexico, Turkey and Slovenia.

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On Tuesday, Australia abolished a visa programme that is used by over 95,000 temporary foreign workers including Indians. This year sees sharp decline in number of American employers seeking H1B visas.

But some analysts note that Trump has already retreated from some earlier vows to toughen America's trade policies and say they suspect that the Buy American order might not amount to much. "It is a question of Dollars 100 billion software export industry that employs over four million people and reservations for H1B visa for start-ups with less than 50 employee will decrease the number of visa available for Indian firms", added Rawat.

Commenting on complying with the USA visa norms, TCS has said that it will tweak its business models in sync with the country's visa rules. "And we will definitely tweak our model in order to ensure that we remain compliant (with the visa norms) and at the same time meet customer demands", PTI reported quoting TCS global head and vice president-HR Ajoy Mukherjee, as saying to reporters.

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

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How Trump's 'Buy American' order could play out