Biden proposes rule to strengthen ‘Buy American’ requirements
President Biden announced a new proposed rule that aims to strengthen domestic supply chains for critical goods and increase the threshold for products to qualify as American-made as part of his commitment to bolstering the number of products made in the U.S.
In January, Biden signed an executive order to launch a government-wide initiative to increase the use of federal procurement to support American manufacturing.
The proposed rule was announced ahead of Biden’s remarks on Wednesday on the importance of American manufacturing, buying products made in America and supporting good-paying jobs for American workers at a manufacturing facility in Lower Macungie Township, Pa.
According to administration officials, the proposed rule would immediately raise the threshold for products to qualify to be bought by the federal government. Currently, 55 percent of the value of the products’ component parts have to be manufactured in the U.S. to qualify, but the rule would raise that threshold to 60 percent.
It then aims to raise the threshold to 65 percent by 2024 and 75 percent by 2029.
It would also apply enhanced price preferences to some critical products to support their development and expansion of domestic supply chains. The enhanced price preferences aim to provide a source of stable demand for domestically produced critical products.
Additionally, it would establish a reporting requirement for critical products to bolster compliance with the Buy America Act of 1982 and improve the government’s data on the amount of domestic content in federal purchases.
Administration officials said that the proposed rule reflects an interagency policy process and over a dozen roundtables with business associations, small businesses and labor unions.
“It marks just the first set of proposed reforms to procurement policy under the Biden-Harris administration to ensure taxpayer dollars help America’s businesses compete in strategic industries and help America’s workers thrive,” the administration official said.
The proposed rule will be published with a 60-day comment period, which includes a public meeting and a review of all the comments, before a final rule is issued.
Agencies are also taking steps, administration officials said, and highlighting over $2 billion in new purchases to support the manufacturing of technology and products in the U.S.
The Department of Energy acquired new electric vehicles for its fleet that were manufactured in the U.S. or have batteries produced in U.S. facilities.
The Labor Department purchased $1.5 million in U.S. products, from office furniture to testing equipment, to ensure mines and other workplaces are safe.
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