BIDEN ISSUES “BUY AMERICAN” EXECUTIVE ORDER

On Monday, January 25, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) entitled Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers. This EO was messaged as a way to bolster investment in American companies, workers, and unions to stimulate the economy and stabilize the middle class. Federal contracts must already give preference to American firms per current law. However, the Biden Administration notes that it believes the requirements of these laws are potentially outdated and the laws and waivers to allow foreign contracting “have not always been implemented consistently or effectively.” To attempt to address these issues, the EO “establishes the goals and standards necessary to use federal purchasing, and other forms of federal assistance with domestic preference requirements, as a way to proactively invest in American industry so it can continue to lead in the global marketplace.” Specifically, the EO charges agencies with tightening the implementation of the existing Made in America statutes, establishes a “Director of Made in America” at the Office of Management and Budget to oversee Buy America Act waivers, and adds sunshine and reporting requirements to agencies to create a public record of foreign contract waivers policies, and those requested and granted. It also charges federal agencies with examining how current laws can be applied to additional services (e.g. information technology, etc.). For entities seeking to contract with the federal government that manufacture (or provide a service) outside the U.S., the EO could have real consequences through the new OMB review process and potential tightening of the implementation of current contracting laws. 

 

RESOURCES

WHITE HOUSE FACT SHEET


TEXT OF EXECUTIVE ORDER