Buy American Will Create Jobs

President Biden’s executive order to federal agencies to “Buy American” when they purchase billions of dollars in goods and services, issued the end of January, closes loopholes in current Buy American legislation. Those legal commands, which congressional Democrats often insert in money bills, order agencies to buy U.S.-made goods unless they can show a reason why they cannot do so.

“Our tax dollars should be used to create jobs and advance production here at home," Biden said. "For far too long, America’s workers suffered as many corporations wrap themselves in the flag and simultaneously seek out loopholes to qualify for ‘Buy American’ status with foreign-made products."

Donald Trump “used the right words but never put in place policies to affect meaningful change,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pointed out. “This executive order will close loopholes that allow agencies to sidestep ‘Buy American’ requirements and increase the thresholds for domestic content.” He also declared it will help revive U.S. manufacturing, another key Biden goal, by expanding the market for U.S. factory-made goods.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., noted Biden put teeth in his order by establishing a new position within his Office of Management and Budget to make sure agencies obey.

“Having an individual tasked with overseeing a government-wide approach to ensure greater federal procurement of goods and services made in our country by American workers will provide this important work with the focus and attention it deserves," he said. He noted that Biden’s order also would “make use of the” Commerce Department’s “Manufacturing Extension Partnership to encourage federal agencies to find domestic suppliers for more of the products they source.”

Left unsaid: In his last budget last year, Trump tried to kill the partnership, leaving only $5 million to close it down. It had been budgeted, in fiscal 2020, which ended last Sept. 30, at $146 million.