Buy American Plan Gets an Update

Feb. 9, 2023
The Office of Management and Budget is developing standards to replace the current Buy American Act standards

President Biden addressed our nation's crumbling infrastructure during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, citing new standards for the Buy American Act. On Wednesday morning, the White House released more details on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

The Biden Administration wants new standards for projects, which require the projects to be built from materials manufactured in the U.S., impacting all federally funded projects, not just those funded by the IIJA.

“When we do these projects, and again I get criticized for this but I make no excuses for it, we’re gonna buy American,” Biden said Tuesday night. “Lumber. Glass. Drywall. Fiber optic cable.”

The Biden Administration is saying this as a key to boost manufacturing jobs in our nation.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is developing standards that will replace the Buy American Act standards that were a placeholder, while seeking suggestions on how to define "American made".

The rules would allow federal agencies to waive the sourcing requirements in certain cases if American-made materials are unavailable or because of high costs, according to the OMB proposal.

“The President believes that when we spend American taxpayers’ dollars, we should support American workers and businesses. Making more products at home creates manufacturing jobs, strengthens supply chains, and helps lower costs,” Livia Shmavonian, the White House made-in-America director, wrote in a blog post.

The standards set by the Biden Administration are meticulous than past Buy American proposals which focused on steel and iron.

“This giant loophole meant projects could be built with other materials sourced from anywhere in the world,” said the White House in a statement released the day before the State of the Union Address. “The Biden-Harris administration is working to close this loophole and implement new standards, once and for all, so materials for roads and bridges, airports, transit, rail, water, high-speed internet, and clean energy infrastructure are made in America and support American jobs.”



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