Business & Lobbying

Manufacturing group CEO points to effect limits on work visas has on businesses

The National Association of Manufacturers CEO Jay Timmons laid out for President Trump consequences that the new limits on work visas has on manufacturers and the economy.

Trump issued an executive order June 22 that put limits on foreign workers, which business groups immediately bashed, hinting at lawsuits over the move.

In a letter to Trump on Monday, Timmons said that consequences include plant managers in multiple sectors, including automotive and heavy machinery, will not be able to access their workplaces to ramp up new production and establish new production lines. Electric utility manufacturers will not be able to bring on high-skilled employees needed for engineering for infrastructure resiliency. 

He noted that pharmaceutical and chemical sector research and development that was set to take place in the U.S. may shift overseas and multinational companies' plans to develop senior leaders, including career development opportunities for American employees through international positions, are on hold indeterminately.

"The June 22 proclamation disregards this economic reality and imposes a one-size-fits-all restriction on employers that is inconsistent with the complex and calibrated system established by our immigration laws," Timmons wrote.

He warned in a letter before the proclamation that immigration restrictions could impede the recovery of sectors, like manufacturing.

Timmons urged in this letter for the administration to list the restrictions and called on Trump to establish a process for industry to provide feedback on the impacts of the restrictions, suggestions for modifications, and ensure that travel restrictions are determined by global health metrics.

Also, he asked that the administration provide clarity on how it will evaluate the continued need for travel restrictions, provide details to stakeholders on how it will ensure training, education and apprenticeship programs funded by H-1B fees are not interrupted by the current restrictions, expand the range of exemptions for visa restrictions, and provide consistent standards on exemptions.