President Biden’s State of the Union (SOTU) address Tuesday night detailed the government’s efforts to ensure that construction materials used in Federal infrastructure projects are U.S.-made.

President Biden’s State of the Union (SOTU) address Tuesday night detailed the government’s efforts to ensure that construction materials used in Federal infrastructure projects are U.S.-made.

The country’s airports were recently awarded nearly $1 billion from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration to improve existing terminals. The grants fund renovation projects that provide jobs for glass companies throughout the country. Major airports, including New York’s LaGuardia, Boston Logan, Chicago O’Hare, and San Francisco, among others, are all undergoing significant renovations and expansions.

Build America, Buy America

The administration’s efforts to promote American products include Build America, Buy America, a provision in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Buy American provision states all products bought with taxpayer dollars must be made in the U.S. This includes iron, steel, manufactured products and construction materials.

Biden issued further guidance during the SOTU to increase the scope of Buy American. Once finalized, Biden’s proposal will ensure construction materials—including glass—are made in America. This will apply to “virtually” all infrastructure spending supported by Federal financial assistance.

“These updates are helping to ensure that taxpayers’ dollars support American manufacturing, boost resiliency in critical industries and create good-paying jobs right here at home,” the White House said. “The Buy American rule increased the percentage value of component parts manufactured in the U.S. from 55% to 60% this past fall as the first step toward increasing that value to 75%.”

The administration’s efforts to curtail foreign materials on Federal projects is a strict departure from past regulations. According to a White House statement, past Buy America programs mainly focused on iron and steel and only covered certain projects. This meant projects could be built with other materials sourced from anywhere in the world.

The government is working to close this loophole and implement new standards so that materials for projects are made in America and support American jobs.

“The glass, aluminum and steel in American buildings, bridges and transportation infrastructure should be made in America,” says Eric Dean, general president of Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust. “Bringing those manufacturing jobs back to this country will mean ironworker jobs in the construction and maintenance of those factories, too. The ironworkers work with the Biden administration to ensure the Buy America Act grows the domestic supply chain while keeping materials flowing to projects today.”