President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration is bound to have an impact on warehousing, freight transportation and logistics, but exactly what it will be is largely a matter of speculation at this point.
The one area in which we know in some detail what his policy will look like is immigration reform, which was a cornerstone of his campaign.
Trump’s website discusses the famous wall, to be built by taxing funds sent home by Mexicans in the United States, and his plan to return convicted criminals back to their home countries.
When it comes to employment Trump’s position is: “Turn off the jobs and benefits magnet. Many immigrants come to the U.S. illegally in search of jobs, even though federal law prohibits the employment of illegal immigrants.”
His website also said his administration will impose new immigration controls that will work to boost wages and “to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.”
His platform calls for selecting immigrants based on their likelihood of success in the U.S. and their ability to be financially self-sufficient.
In an August speech he took aim at employers declaring, “We will ensure that E-Verify is used to the fullest extent possible under existing law, and will work with Congress to strengthen and expand its use across the country.”
Among the immigration reforms Trump said he plans to put into place is a major revision of the HB1 visa program. This federal program originally was intended to allow employers in the U.S. access to overseas talent in job categories where there are more job openings than there are qualified Americans available to fill them.
Before and during the campaign emotional stories appeared in the news media about U.S. workers who were forced to train their foreign replacements before being fired.
In many cases these were computer programmers, a field of endeavor in which you would think there would be plenty of candidates who are American citizens.
Under current law, it is illegal for U.S. employers to pay HB1 visa holders less than $30,000 a year. But you can’t live on that salary in Silicon Valley, where foreign workers in the high tech industry reportedly are forced to live four and five to an apartment because of the high rents.
Trump said he won’t issue H1B visas “to companies that replace American workers and my Department of Justice will pursue action against them.”
“We graduate two times more Americans with STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] degrees each year than can find STEM jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level (Continued on next page) hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H1B program,” his campaign position paper stated.
Trump noted that in 2015 the government imposed over 3,300 regulations, 1,100 more than the 2,400 that the previous year. “Every year, overregulation costs our economy $2 trillion,” he asserted. “We will no longer regulate our companies and our jobs out of existence.”
Although Trump said he will eliminate the most intrusive rules, he identified only environmental regulations he said cost $7.2 billion a year.
He plans to issue a temporary moratorium on new agency regulations that are not compelled by Congress or public safety. Department heads will be directed to submit a list of wasteful and unnecessary regulations that kill jobs and do not improve public safety to be eliminated.
He also promised to cancel every “unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order” issued by President Obama, many of which dealt with labor and employment issues.
However, Trump said he wished to add six weeks of paid maternity leave to unemployment insurance. He also would like to see increased incentives for employers to provide child care at their workplaces.
Trump aims to overhaul Obamacare but would keep some provisions, such as banning insurers from rejecting applicants with pre-existing conditions.
Regarding trade, which got a great deal of exposure in the news media, Trump promised to renegotiate NAFTA – something Canada and Mexico agreed to do in the immediate aftermath of his election.
He also intends to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. His administration also would identify violations of trade agreements that harm U.S. workers, and use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.
Perhaps the least controversial of his proposals is investing more in our infrastructure, but how to pay for it is, as usual, the sticking point.
During his victory speech Trump promised to improve highways that are freight corridors and other projects by spending $1 trillion over the next decade, which may be paid for through the issuance of public and private bonds, among other means.