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US President Donald Trump to sign an Executive order ‘Buy American, Hire American’ policy

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US President Donald Trump, VOA

Washington, April 18, 2017: US President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday directing federal agencies to implement the “Buy American, Hire American” policy which calls for a review of the H-1B visa program for skilled workers, senior officials said.

Trump will sign the executive order during a trip Tuesday to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he will tour the headquarters of Snap-on-Tools, a high-end tools manufacturer, and deliver a speech about US manufacturing, CNN reported.

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The officials on Monday touted the executive order as a “historic step” that would help protect American manufacturers and American workers whom the administration believes have been hurt by lax enforcement of “Buy American” laws and employers abusing the H1-B visa program.

“Both ‘buy American’ and ‘hire American’ rules have been enormously diluted over time, resulting in many lost job opportunities for American workers,” an administration official told CNN.

“This is what America wants,” said a second official.

On the “hire American” front, the executive order will direct federal agencies to more strictly enforce H1-B visa laws and propose reforms to the programme to prevent fraud and abuse and ensure visas are awarded to the most-skilled applicants.

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The H1-B visa program is intended to bring skilled workers in certain fields to the US, but the administration contended that employers have abused it to hire workers who will accept cheaper pay than Americans.

The trip to Wisconsin will be Trump’s first since becoming President.

Trump clinched victory in the state that has not voted for a Republican for president since 1984. (IANS)

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U.S. To End Waivers For Iran Oil imports

Oil exports are a key source of revenue for Tehran, which has been hit hard by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (file photo)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. RFERL

U.S. President Donald Trump has decided not to reissue waivers in May allowing importers to buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions, the White House said in a statement on April 21.

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market,” the White House said.

“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” the statement added.

The decision means sanctions waivers for five nations, including China and India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, won’t be renewed when they expire on May 2.

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The move is part of the Trump administration’s tough line on Iran. VOA

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington has had “extensive and productive discussions with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other major producers to ease this transition and ensure sufficient supply.”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (Republican-Texas) applauded the end of oil waivers for Iran.

“This decision will deprive the ayatollahs of billions of dollars that they would have spent undermining the security of the United States and our allies, building up Iran’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs and financing global terrorism,” he said.

The move is part of the Trump administration’s tough line on Iran.

“We will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until its leaders change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of the Iranian people, and return to the negotiating table,” Pompeo said in an April 22 statement.

oil-refinery
“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” the statement added. Pixabay

Oil exports are a key source of revenue for Tehran, which has been hit hard by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.

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Ahead of Washington’s announcement, an unamed Iranian Oil Ministry source told the semiofficial Tasnim news agency that the United States will fail to cut Iranian oil exports to zero.

“Whether the waivers continue or not, Iran’s oil exports will not be zero under any circumstances unless Iranian authorities decide to stop oil exports…and this is not relevant now,” Tasnim quoted the unnamed “informed source” as saying. (RFERL)