Within days of taking office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing federal agencies to Buy American and thereby bolster U.S. manufacturing and service industries. That action constitutes a long-term stimulus of immense magnitude.
It’s worth noting that the first such legislation was the Buy American act of 1933 signed by President Herbert Hoover as he left office. Since then similar measures such as the Berry Amendment, the Trade Agreement Act of 1979, and the Buy American Act/Buy American Provisions of 1982 have been enacted with little effect and even less enforcement.
President Biden said he intends to make his executive order effective. He has created a Made-in-America office within the Office of Management and Budget to oversee implementation and enforcement of the Buy American directive.
“Under the previous administration, federal government contracts awarded directly to foreign companies went up 30%,” President Biden said. He vowed to reverse that policy.
President Biden aims to include both small and large Americans businesses with the objective of strengthening the middle class by creating well-paid union jobs, rebuilding our nation’s strategic reserves and supporting technologies that will create a clean energy future.
President Biden’s order renews support for the Jones Act which requires only U.S.-flag vessels carry freight between U.S. ports. He has directed the government to use taxpayer funds to buy American-made goods, components and services, including contracting.
The action has built-in review and assessment requirements designed to ensure compliance with the aim and spirit of the executive action.
President Biden’s Buy American plan is a detailed, comprehensive approach to using the federal government’s purchasing power to stimulate and rebuild the economy put Americans back to work and make our national needs independent of foreign manufactures and supply chains. ■