President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a long-anticipated executive order that addresses a campaign promise to begin shifting the country toward the “Buy American, Hire American” strategy that appealed to much of the industrial working class population in the Rust Belt states.
The order calls on the U.S. government to shift purchasing toward domestically produced goods. It also sets in motion a change in immigration policies, which could exclude many qualified foreign professionals from Silicon Valley firms.
Trump’s speech and signing ceremony Tuesday afternoon followed his appearance at the Snap-On Tools headquarters in Wisconsin, a state he narrowly won despite its usual role as part of the Democratic Party’s blue firewall in the upper Midwest.
“For too long we’ve watched as our factories have been closed and our jobs have been sent to other faraway lands,” Trump told attendees at the event.
More than 70,000 U.S. factories have been lost since China joined the World Trade Organization, he noted.
End the Lottery
The executive order will end the practice that allowed “Buy American” programs to be circumvented by excessive waivers and endless exemptions, Trump said, noting that American workers have been losing out in an economic environment that has favored cheap, subsidized foreign goods.
Trump touched briefly on the H-1B visa issue during his speech, noting that visas are granted in a “totally random” lottery system,…