‘Buy American’ and ‘Hire American’ Directives

The Trump administration is proceeding with more election promises, in this case to toughen up on immigrant workers and on imports.

Trump claims wide support, more jobs available and higher wages for Americans are sure to be popular, but support for higher prices that are likely to result has not been polled.

At this stage it only involves reviews to look at measures that could be taken.

Wall Street Journal: Trump Expected to Bolster ‘Buy American’ and ‘Hire American’ Directives

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order in Wisconsin on Tuesday directing a government-wide review aimed at putting new teeth back into decades-old “Buy American” and “Hire American” directives.

The 220-day review process, which could lead to additional executive orders and possibly legislation, will focus on preventing foreign workers with H-1B visas from, as one senior administration official put it, “undercutting American labor at less cost,” which the official labeled as “an abuse” of the current system.

“This is a clear statement from the president of the United States to shore up some of these abuses,” the official continued. The goal, the official said, is ensuring that “everyone can have a realistic path to economic success and full employment.”

The order will call for a review by federal agencies aimed at stricter enforcement of immigration and other laws governing the entry of workers into the U.S.

Cheap immigrant labour has benefited US employers and business, but has impacted on American unemployment.

In addition to the visa program, federal agencies will be asked to review and minimize the use of waivers and exceptions to Buy American policies as well as assess the degree to which waivers included in free-trade agreements have hurt American workers.

If those waivers, which are part of trade agreements with nearly 60 countries, are deemed to have put the U.S. at a disadvantage, as administration officials believe to be the case, those deals are likely to be renegotiated, the official said.

That could take quite a while to do, and re-negotiations may work both ways, not all in favour of the US.

The White House touted broad public support for the directives, pointing to a November 2016 poll by the Mellman Group showing 74% of respondents supporting the use of American workers and materials in publicly financed products.

That’s not a surprise, but I don’t know if people were also polled on whether they supported higher prices for goods or higher taxes to pay for more expensive public projects.

The order also will demand the use of American-made steel in publicly financed infrastructure and other construction projects. It clarifies that steel slab imported from and primarily constructed in foreign countries but finished in the U.S. won’t meet that directive.

Publicly funded projects only, so Trump companies could still build hotels with imported steel? See HOW DONALD TRUMP DITCHED U.S. STEEL WORKERS IN FAVOR OF CHINA:

Newsweek investigation has found that in at least two of Trump’s last three construction projects, Trump opted to purchase his steel and aluminum from Chinese manufacturers rather than United States corporations.

Throughout his campaign, Trump has maintained that some controversial decisions for his companies amounted to nothing more than taking actions that were good for business, and were therefore reflections of his financial acumen. But, with the exception of one business that collapsed into multiple bankruptcies, Trump does not operate a public company; he has no fiduciary obligation to shareholders to obtain the highest returns he can. His decisions to turn away from American producers were not driven by legal obligations to investors, but simply resulted in higher profits for himself and his family.

Another case with Trump saying ‘do as I say, not as I do’.