January 25, 2021
Biden Expected To Sign Executive Order To “Buy American”
U.S. President Joe Biden will sign an executive order today instructing the federal government to spend more of its $600 billion procurement budget on U.S.-made products, aimed at boosting the beleaguered U.S. economy.
The order will instruct the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to revamp its definition of what it means for products to be made in the U.S. and to increase how much of a product’s parts must originate in the U.S. to be eligible for the Buy American program.
The executive order also aims to eliminate exemptions that allow federal agencies to circumvent the Buy American rules. Waiver requests will also be published on a public website, to be developed in the coming months, so that U.S. companies have an opportunity to compete for contracts that agencies want to award to foreign competitors.
The administration views the changes as key to not only stimulating the current economy, but to rebuilding U.S. manufacturing for the long term.
The order may ruffle the feathers of some U.S. industries and trading partners. American companies have already cautioned the Biden administration that changes to their overseas supply chains are time consuming and, in some cases, factories cannot easily be shifted back to the U.S.
Other countries may see Biden’s proposal as the beginnings of protectionist-minded policies.