Trump companies don't always follow his 'buy American, hire American' pledge

Trump: Will enforce rules to end visa abuses

President Donald Trump promoted his "buy American, hire American" policy again Tuesday — but his family's companies haven't always followed that pledge themselves.

After touring a Snap-on tools plant in Wisconsin on Tuesday afternoon, Trump signed an executive order pushing the hiring of domestic workers by American companies.

The measure will aim to make it more difficult for businesses to hire lower-wage foreign workers, particularly through changes to the H-1B program favored by technology companies, The New York Times reported. The order will also direct a review of government rules related to the use of American companies for federal contracts.

"We are sending a powerful signal to the world. We are going to protect our workers, defend our jobs and finally put America first," Trump said Tuesday.

But businesses owned by Trump and his family members don't always favor American workers.

President Donald Trump delivers opening remarks during a meeting with (L-R) Wendell Weeks of Corning, Alex Gorsky of Johnson & Johnson, Michael Dell of Dell Technologies, Mario Longhi of US Steel, and other business leaders and administration staff in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Jan. 23, 2017 in Washington, DC.
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Last year, Trump got approval to hire 64 foreign workers for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida through the government's H-2B visa program, according to the Palm Beach Post. Trump has heavily criticized the H-1B program, but not the H-2B, which applies to seasonal or temporary workers.

Trump defended the hiring move in a presidential debate last March, saying it is "very, very hard" to find workers to fill those jobs — which included positions for waiters, cooks and housekeepers, according to the Post report.

Trump Winery, owned by the president's son Eric, also applied for foreign workers through the H-2A visa program, which applies to agricultural workers, according to NBC4 in Washington. That business has also said it is difficult to find American workers.

NBC News found that shipments of Chinese-made dresses bearing the brand of Trump's daughter Ivanka have continued to be shipped into the United States since Trump took office. Ivanka Trump, who recently took a White House job, has said she no longer has a management role in the brand.

The White House and Trump Organization did not respond to CNBC requests for comment.

Tuesday's executive order comes as part of Trump's push to prod U.S. businesses to invest more money domestically and create jobs for American workers — issues that helped propel the businessman to the White House. He has repeatedly attacked U.S. companies, particularly automakers, that produce products or components abroad. He slams trade deals that he says have led companies to abandon American workers.

"We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams. ... We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American," Trump said at his inaugural address in January.