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H-1B Executive Order: Debating the economic feasibility of ‘Buy American, Hire American’




US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One prior to departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, April 18, 2017, as he travels to Wisconsin.
US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One prior to departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, April 18, 2017, as he travels to Wisconsin.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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President Trump is in Wisconsin today to sign a "Buy American, Hire American" executive order. The order takes aim at H-1B visas heavily used by the tech sector to import Indian and other international employees. It also calls on the government to use American materials whenever possible.

The H-1B visa program is controversial. Employers in tech and some other sectors claim they need to hire international workers for positions there aren't enough Americans to fill. Critics deny there aren't enough Americans to do those jobs. They claim employers use the H-1B so they can hire from elsewhere at lower salaries.

Guests:

Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a research group sponsored by several tech companies

Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at Howard University, and author of the book, “Outsourcing America,” which looks at the economic implications of the offshoring of high-skilled jobs

Brian Riedl, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute; he was director of budget and spending policy for Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign and also spent six years as chief economist for Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman