President Donald Trump issued a new executive order on August 3, 2020, “Executive Order on Aligning Federal Contracting and Hiring Practices With the Interests of American Workers.” The order instructs the Secretaries of Labor and Homeland Security to take action to protect U.S. workers from “any adverse effects on wages and working conditions caused by the employment of H-1B visa holders at job sites (including third-party job sites), including measures to ensure that all employers of H-1B visa holders, including secondary employers, adhere to the requirements of section 212(h)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(1)).”
The order, which makes no immediate changes, also instructs the heads of each executive department and agency that entered into contracts in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to assess whether contractors (including subcontractors) used temporary foreign labor for contracts performed in the United States. The order further asks for information on:
- The nature of the work performed by temporary foreign labor on such contracts; whether opportunities for U.S. workers were affected by such hiring; and any potential effects on national security;
- Whether contractors (including subcontractors) performed in foreign countries services previously performed in the United States and, if so, whether opportunities for U.S. workers were affected; whether affected U.S. workers were eligible for assistance under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program; and any potential effects on national security; and
- Any negative impact of contractors’ and subcontractors’ temporary foreign labor hiring practices or offshoring practices on the economy and efficiency of federal procurement and on national security.
Among other things, the order also asks the heads of each agency that enters into contracts to “propose action, if necessary and as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to improve the economy and efficiency of Federal procurement and protect the national security.”