U.S. President Joe Biden signed Monday an executive order that seeks to bolster the nation’s manufacturing sector by giving American companies and business priority in federal investments.
Following the veins of Biden’s campaign trail to “build back better” in response to the COVID-19 economic shock, the Biden administration will seek to boost national production and strengthen the national workforce by directing taxpayer money towards investments in US factories.
Biden tweeted yesterday: “It’s simple: When we spend taxpayer money, we should use it to buy products made in America and support jobs here at home. My Buy American Executive Order does just that.”
In an effort to effectively shift preferences towards the domestic workforce, the ‘Buy American’ executive order will limit the access of foreign products by government agencies, and close loopholes that allow US-based companies to offshore production and jobs.
Contracting accounts for nearly $600 billion annually of federal spending, and the executive order will see to it that federal agencies purchase “Made in America” products that are indeed manufactured in the US and not by a third-party company.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought into focus domestic vulnerabilities in the US supply chain for the procurement of protective equipment against the virus. Amid fears over rising costs should restrictive rules be implemented, the administration emphasized its stance on offshore manufacturing.
“We can never again be in a position where we have to rely on a foreign country that doesn’t share our interests in order to protect our people during a national emergency,” Biden said.
Additionally, Biden’s executive action seeks to help small and medium-sized manufacturers connect with agencies through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership – a network consisting of all 50 states and Puerto Rico that support growing manufacturers.
Government agencies will soon be required to actively scout through the Partnership and provide contracting opportunities to new domestic suppliers who can procure the needed products.
The order further positions the Biden administration as an advocate for the Jones Act, which mandates that goods shipped between U.S. ports must be transported only by US-owned and US-operated vessels.