A day after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the scrapping of Australia’s 457 visas, President Donald Trump has ordered federal agencies to look at tightening the US temporary visa program.
Mr Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday local time to enforce and review the United States H-1B visa, popular in the technology industry, on a visit to the headquarters of tool manufacturer Snap-On in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The order comes as part of the President Trump’s campaign to put “America First”.
In the document, known to the White House as the “Buy American and Hire American” order, the President also seeks changes in government procurement that would boost purchases of US products in federal contracts.
The moves show Mr Trump once again using his power to issue executive orders to try to fulfil promises he made last year in his election campaign, in this case to reform US immigration policies and encourage purchases of American products.
Senior officials gave few details on the implementation of the order, but Trump aides have expressed concern that most H-1B visas are awarded for lower-paid jobs at outsourcing firms, many based in India, which they say takes work away from Americans.
They are seeking a more merit-based method of awarding visas to highly skilled workers.
“Right now, widespread abuse in our immigration system is allowing American workers of all backgrounds to be replaced by workers brought in from other countries,” President Trump said.
As he nears the 100-day benchmark of his presidency, Mr Trump still has no major legislative achievements.
With attempts to overhaul healthcare and tax law so far failing to bear fruit in a Congress controlled by his fellow Republicans, Mr Trump has leaned heavily on executive orders to seek changes to the US economy.