“Tonight, I’m announcing new standards to require all construction materials using federal money for federal infrastructure projects to be made in America,” President Biden said during his State of the Union Address on February 7. “Lumber, glass, drywall, fiberoptic cable, must all me made in the U.S.”

According to the Government Executive online publication, the proposal builds on the initial implementation guidance, issued in April 2022, for the Build America, Buy American stipulation included in the bipartisan infrastructure law and other efforts from the Biden administration to boost U.S. manufacturing.

In March 2022, the Biden administration issued rules to raise domestic content thresholds.

Products previously qualified as Made in America for federal purchases if 55 percent of their component parts are US made. The rule increased to 60 percent in October, 65 percent in 2024, and 75 percent in 2029.

In his State of the Union address, President Biden spoke a lot about rebuilding the middle class. He talked about respect on the job and creating American jobs.

Highlighting new projects aimed at shoring up the domestic supply chain and rebuilding our infrastructure, Biden introduced Saria Gwin-Maye, an ironworker and member of Cincinnati Local 44. “For 30 years, she’s been a proud member of Ironworkers Local 44, known as the ‘cowboys of the sky’ who built the Cincinnati skyline,” Biden said.

Gwin-Maye and other ironworkers in the region will have the opportunity to participate in infrastructure projects in Cincinnati like the Brent Spence Bridge corridor after projects were given funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

President Biden also called for passage of the PRO Act during his State of the Union. “I’m so sick and tired of companies breaking the law by preventing workers from organizing,” he said. “Pass the PRO Act because workers have a right to form a union. And let’s guarantee all workers a living wage.”

His remarks continued to build on his pro-union, pro-worker stance, asking Congress to pass legislation for paid family leave and universal pre-k. Insisting he is the President for all Americans, not just those in blue states, President Biden said, “let’s make sure working parents can afford to raise a family with sick days, paid family medical leave, affordable child care. That’s going to enable millions more people to go and stay at work.” ■