With continuing high unemployment rates and COVID-driven economic woes, on August 3, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) that could potentially lead to restrictions on the ability of government contractors and subcontractors to use foreign labor in the performance of government contracts.

Specifically, the EO (1) requires executive agencies to review and assess past contractor hiring practices and (2) directs the secretaries of homeland security and labor to act to protect US workers from any adverse effects of the employment or contracted use of specified foreign national workers.

While the EO is preliminary in nature, the legal areas at issue—government contracts and immigration—are already highly regulated. This provides multiple platforms for implementation of enhanced restrictions and compliance protocols—all aimed at reducing the ability of employers to draw upon foreign national labor sources. It follows previous EOs broadly restricting US immigration based upon the state of the US economy. However, notably, each of those restrictions also provided for exceptions for those who can establish that they provide an economic benefit.

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