President Biden has signed a “Buy American” executive order intended to bolster American manufacturing. According to the White House, the order will ensure that when the federal government spends taxpayer dollars, they will be spent on goods made in America by American workers and with American-made components.
Contracting alone accounts for approximately $600 billion in federal spending. While federal law requires government agencies to give preferences to American firms, these preferences have not always been implemented consistently or effectively, according to the Administration. It adds that some of the requirements guiding how the government preferences domestic goods and services have not been updated substantially since 1954.
The order directs agencies to close current loopholes in how domestic content is measured and increase domestic content requirements, meaning the amount of a product that must be made in the U.S. for it to qualify under Buy American law. The order also appoints a new director of Made-in-America at the Office of Management and Budget to be in charge of the government’s Made-in America policy implementation.
It also increases the oversight of potential waivers to domestic preference laws, connects new businesses to contracting opportunities by requiring active use of supplier scouting by agencies, and directs a cross-agency review of all domestic preferences on a bi-annual basis.
Janice Yglesias, executive director for the Fenestration & Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA), says the order could benefit FGIA members.
“FGIA members in the U.S. could benefit from the government’s increased investments in manufacturing through Buy American that gives preference to American companies and seeks to implement the eligibility assessment of American-made products consistently and effectively,” she says. “The effects of COVID-19 have impacted all aspects of the fenestration and glazing industry from delayed and stalled supply chains to lost production days for American manufacturing workers. Helping to boost the U.S. manufacturing segment benefits the entire American economy.”
“FGIA is encouraged by the latest efforts to continue to drive the U.S. federal government’s preferences for American-made products and to support American manufacturing jobs. Encouraging federal purchases of American-made products can help manufacturers provide valuable jobs for workers in the U.S. to further stimulate the economy and to remain competitive in a global marketplace,” adds Kathy Krafka Harkema, FGIA U.S. codes and regulatory affairs manager.