Biden appoints official to oversee ‘Buy American’ initiative
President Biden on Tuesday tapped a trade policy expert and former union official to lead his administration’s “Buy American” effort.
Biden announced Celeste Drake will serve as the director of Made in America, a first of its kind role within the Office of Management and Budget. She will oversee federal procurement policies in accordance with Biden’s pledge to increase the government’s purchase of U.S.-made goods.
Drake most recently served as executive in charge of government affairs for the Directors Guild of America. Prior to that, she was the trade and globalization policy specialist for the AFL-CIO union. She has worked to reshape labor rules in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and pushed the U.S. government to address labor rights issues in foreign countries.
The Teamsters Union, one of the largest organized labor groups in the country, welcomed Drake’s appointment to the position.
“We have no doubt that Ms. Drake will excel in this new position and ensure that our government is investing in our workers and communities by purchasing American-made products and services,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa.
“The Teamsters Union has worked closely with Celeste Drake over the years and applaud the White House for hiring a champion for working families,” he added.
Biden in January signed an executive order to increase federal procurement of U.S.-made goods, describing it as a step toward rebuilding the “backbone of America” and bolstering the middle class. The order was designed to strengthen the rules surrounding the Buy American Act requiring federal agencies to purchase American-made products.
The executive action also created the role Drake will fill. Officials said in January that the job would focus on overseeing the implementation of the administration’s “Made in America” initiative aimed at cutting back on unnecessary waivers granted to agencies to buy foreign-made products.