On January 25, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order requiring the federal government to purchase more goods made in the United States. The order expands on previous buy-American policies.
The History of Buy American Policies
In 1933, President Hoover signed the Buy American Act which requires domestic end products purchased by the federal government to be 100% manufactured in the US and containing at least 50% domestic components. However, the law does not apply to purchases by third parties contracted by the government. A price evaluation of 6% and 12% for large and small businesses respectively is also provided to allow the purchase of foreign products.
In 1941, the Berry Amendment was passed requiring the Department of Defense to purchase American produced, manufactured or grown food, specialty metals, fabrics and clothing except in times of extreme urgency.
The 1982 Buy America Act requires American-made purchases of steel and iron by the federal government and third-party agencies for the components of end products used in the construction of highways, railways and rapid transit systems.
In 2019, President Trump signed an executive order increasing the domestic component percentage of the Buy American Act to 55% and requiring that components of iron and steel must be at least 95%. Price evaluations also increased to 20% for large businesses and 30% for small businesses.
Buy Even More American
Biden’s new executive order, “Ensuring the Future is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers,” includes the following provisions:
- Creates a position in the Office of Management and Budget to oversee domestic purchasing policies and waiver approvals.
- Federal agencies seeking waivers allowing the purchase of foreign products must be approved through the Office of Management and Budget and the International Trade Administration.
- Creation of a new website providing visibility of waiver requests and grants to enable American manufacturers to identify and meet American-made supply gaps.
- Use of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to scout small and medium-sized domestic suppliers.
- Orders a review of extending Made in America Laws to apply to information technology as a commercial item.
- Applies Made in America Laws to goods offered to the general public on Federal property.
Supporters of buy-American polices say the measures protect American workers, businesses and the economy. Biden has argued government spending using taxpayer money should be invested back into American jobs and goods.
Sealevel American Made
Sealevel is proud to be American made – contributing over 70 jobs to the workforce in Pickens County, South Carolina. We’re committed to the community – and country – that have given so much to us.