Trump’s skilled immigrant visa ban cost firms $100 billion new report claims

Figures based on corporate valuations before executive order introduced

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 20 October 2020 17:52 EDT
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Donald Trump’s skilled immigrant visa ban that prevented 200,000 people coming to the US  cost firms $100 billion, according to a new report.

The president temporarily suspended new work visas and prevented applications in June as part of an effort to prevent immigrants entering the US.

The White House order blocked visas for skilled workers, many in the tech industry, who come to the US on the temporary H-1B or L-1 visas.

Mr Trump’s executive order also blocked global firms with offices in the US from transferring staff over to the United States for months or years, and also blocked the spouses of foreign nationals already employed in the US.

Now the research group Brookings says the move cost Fortune 500 companies $100 billion in losses based on their valuation before it happened.

This paper says that the market value of the firms in their sample dropped by 0.45 per cent after the executive order.

“Our results are particularly pronounced for firms that had maintained or increased their reliance on skilled immigrant workers over the prior years,” the Brookings working paper stated.

And the report added: “While there may be such long-run adjustments that firms can make when access to skilled labour supply is abruptly constrained, we document that there is a significant short-run negative impact.

“In this particular instance, the June 22, 2020, immigration ban plausibly eroded valuation to the tune of 100 billion dollars for the firms in our sample.”

Earlier this month the White House announced further tightening of H1-B visas by increasing the wages that a company must pay a foreign hire.

The administration says it brought in the measures to protect American jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

“With millions of Americans looking for work, and as the economy continues its recovery, immediate action is needed to guard against the risk lower-cost foreign labour can pose to the well-being of US. workers,” said Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella.

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