Trump’s order a case of ‘Do as I say, not as I do’

President Trump Visits Snap-On Tools In Kenosha, WisconsinCall it a case of “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Harkening back to a cornerstone of his campaign, President Trump this week signed a “Buy American, Hire American” executive order that tightens rules under which visas are awarded to skilled foreign workers.

The order also directs the federal government to prioritize buying American-made goods and hiring American firms for federal projects.

“We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure more products are stamped with those wonderful words ‘Made in the USA,’ ” Trump said during a visit to a tool manufacturer in Wisconsin, with wrenches forming a U.S. flag as his backdrop. “For too long we’ve watched as our factories have been closed and our jobs have been sent to faraway lands.”

On the campaign trail, as he did in his Wisconsin stop, Trump made buying American-made goods and hiring American workers a signature theme, one that played very well with blue-collar audiences.

That was Trump, the candidate. Trump, the billionaire businessman, however, was a different story.

As The Washington Post put it, “(Trump’s) business practices often contradicted his political rhetoric. Parts of his clothing line were manufactured abroad and he hired foreign workers at many of his properties.”

Trump may want the federal government and American firms to “buy American” and “hire American,” but he doesn’t always do that himself. Many of his products are made outside the U.S., and the use of undocumented immigrants to build Trump Tower became a flashpoint of one of the presidential debates, an accusation by Hillary Clinton that the Politifact organization rated as “True.” Trump also uses the H-2B visa program to hire foreign workers at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

The order Trump signed this week calls for federal crackdowns on fraud in another visa program, H-1B.

The order is intended to discourage use of foreign labor, which the White House argues puts Americans out of jobs and drives down wages.

That prompted a swift response from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which said H-1B visas have a positive impact on wages because workers earn higher average wages than Americans in similar jobs.

The immigration lawyers group said the H-1B is expensive enough that most American employers use it only when they can’t find qualified U.S. workers to fill jobs.

Trump’s order, AILA said, won’t have an immediate impact on the visa program because it will require legislative rule changes first.