Donald Trump signs order against outsourcing USA jobs to foreign workers

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie U.S. President Trump holds a COVID-19 pandemic briefing at the White House in Washington

President Trump announced on Monday that he was firing the chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority and called for the ouster of its CEO after lambasting the federally owned corporation for hiring foreign workers and allowing the CEO to make what the president has recently called a "ridiculous" salary.

Mr. Trump announced the leadership overhaul as he signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to limit their use of foreign contractors and to perform an audit on their use of foreign workers over the past two years, to ensure American workers aren't missing job opportunities.

The Covid-19 recession has thrown millions of Americans out of work, with uncertain prospects for a recovery given continued surges in virus case counts in many states.

Seated near TVA employees at a White House roundtable, the president blasted TVA chair James Thompson and CEO Jeffrey Lyash. The administration also remains in talks with Democrats about extending extra jobless benefits.

With the overarching aims of "preventing harmful outsourcing" and "preserving jobs for the American people", the August 3 Executive Order will require all federal agencies to complete an audit meant to ensure compliance with a requirement that only American citizens and nationals are appointed to the USA government's competitive service. The order will also prompt a study to determine how many federal jobs are held by foreign visa holders.

The order followed the TVA's announcement that it would outsource 20 percent of its technology jobs to companies based in foreign countries.

The President plans to encourage TVA to halt the layoffs and outsourcing, the official said. "All jobs related to TVA's Information Technology department must be performed by in the U.S. by individuals who may legally work in this country", it said.

This came over a month after the Trump administration on June 23 chose to suspend a number of work visas, including the H-1B visas, until the end of the year.

The U.S. Tech workers' group aired an ad on cable television that said Lyash received an $8.1 million compensation package, making him the "highest-paid federal employee in America".

In a statement, TVA said all its employees were US -based and legally permitted to work in the country, but it would continue working with the White House on the issue. The White House said this could lead to more than 200 American tech workers to lose their jobs to foreign workers hired on temporary work visas. "If you betray American workers, then you will hear two simple words: You're fired".

Trump has always been known as an immigration hawk, and the struggle to build his long-promised Mexican border wall helped define the first two years of his presidency.

But Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said the TVA does not get any taxpayer money. He said that TVA chief executive officers' pay is lower than other large utilities and that TVA energy rates are among the lowest in the nation.



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