India to Trump: America still needs our tech workers

Trump is to sign the order when he visits the world headquarters of Snap-On Inc, a tool manufacturer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

When asked by reporters what policy changes will take effect immediately after Trump signed the order, a senior administration official detailed how the president is really asking for self-assessments from a range of federal agencies.

Specifically targeted: The H-1B visa program, which allows 85,000 foreign workers into the United States each year to take specific high-skilled jobs with USA companies. The order also seeks to strengthen requirements that American-made products be used in certain federal construction projects, as well as in various federal grant-funded transportation projects. Trump's plan is to alter the H-1B system so it admits only workers who are among the most highly paid and/or skilled in their fields - a "total transformation", he says, from the current system in which successful applicants are chosen in a lottery.

Trump campaigned on a promise to use the powers of the presidency to encourage companies to buy American products and hire American workers, and the officials portrayed the order as a step toward fulfilling the pledge.

Trump's election campaign had been marred by his disparaging remarks against minorities in the US, including a call to ban all Muslims from coming to America as well as stopping Mexican migrants by building a long wall along the US-Mexico border.

Will the order change the H-1B visa programme?

The H-1B program is supposed to provide the flexibility for companies to hire highly skilled foreign employees who possess unique technical expertise. "Nothing is being proposed that would impact or change the FY18 H-1B lottery that is now underway", Nasscom said in a statement.

But he said some ideas could make the system ineffective, such as requiring advertisement of job openings for long periods to prove the unavailability of United States workers.

The governors of Wisconsin and NY sent Trump a letter Tuesday urging him to take action.

In the document, known to the White House as the "Buy American and Hire American" order, Trump also seeks changes in government procurement that would boost purchases of American products in federal contracts, particularly in the USA steel industry.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also announced a tighter visa policy for the businesses to bring workers in the country.

"He's here today to highlight American manufacturing and put a spot light on Snap-on", said the firm's chairman and chief executive officer, Nicholas Pinchuk.

But the number of applicants fell to 199,000 this year, down from 236,000 in 2016, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services. The US government has already received more than 200,000 applications this year.