Trump is expected to sign the order while visiting the Snap-on tool company in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday.
The order will overhaul the H1-B visa program which tech companies should use to hire high-skilled workers, but they recruit low-skilled, low-wage workers to replace working-class domestic laborers instead.
Its “original intent (was) awarding visas to the most skilled and highest paid applicants — crucially, at such time as these reforms are eventually implemented, it will prevent the program from being used to displace American workers,” a White House official said.
“For too long, rather than just allowing the best to come (…), the H-1B program has been applied in a bad way for US workers,” the official added.
Some 85,000 H-1B visas are issued annually and many of them, in recent years, have been snapped up by outsourcing firms that provide low-cost IT support to American corporations.
According to the executive order, the Departments of Commerce, Labor, Homeland Security and State are required to more strictly police the visa program.
During his presidential campaign, Trump defended his own use of overseas workers, arguing it is difficult to find Americans willing to accept seasonal employment.
Through signing the order, Trump also plans to ride on his campaign slogan of “Buy American and Hire American” and help strengthen existing US policies to support domestic products and workers.
“The capability of the American middle class to make things and keep them running has been at the base of our nation’s strength since its founding,” Snap-on CEO Nicholas Pinchuk said in a statement to NPR. “We believe the President’s visit emphasizes the need to nurture such manufacturing strength.”
The “Buy American” portion of the executive order requires stricter enforcement of laws which require the federal government to buy American-made products when possible.