President Trump offers big benefit to Silicon Valley
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President Trump offers big benefit to Silicon Valley

President Donald Trump has just weighed in on a subject close to the hearts of some of Silicon Valley’s biggest employers – and based on what he has to say, it could be a big benefit for people like Google and Facebook. Speaking to workers in Wisconsin, Mr. Trump outlined his views over H-1B visas – the means by which highly skilled workers can enter the U.S. for employment – and suggested he may tighten the rules by which they can be awarded. In theory, this could dramatically speed up the pace at which Google and others could bring in top talent from outside the U.S.

trump silicon valley

U.S. technology companies are amongst the highest paying sponsors of H-1B visas – a clear sign that the work their sponsored employees are undertaking fits with the designation outlined on official documents. This designation requires “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge.”

In contrast, workers at many of the consultancy firms who also sponsor numerous H-1B visas are stretching the credulity of that definition. There is an opinion that they employ more-or-less basic IT professionals from overseas simply because it is cheaper. The knock-on effect that this causes is an incredibly lengthy visa pipeline, where the really talented prospective employees often have to wait many months before admission into the country.

In Wisconsin, Trump said:

“Right now, H-1B visas are being awarded in a totally random lottery. And that’s wrong. Instead, they should be given to the most skilled and highest paid applicants.”

If the President tightens the application process for H-1B visas, it will go a long way to getting the really skilled foreign workers into the U.S. companies that really need them: Google, Facebook, Yahoo and more. The benefits of not having top-talent workers stranded overseas for long stretches of time is highly likely to have a direct benefit on productivity at some of the U.S.’s biggest tech titans.

Disclosure
Dominion holds Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Facebook, and Yahoo in its Global Trends range of Funds.


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