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Trump to sign executive order reviewing Buy American waivers, U.S. visa programs

April 18, 2017

President Trump, during a visit to Wisconsin on Tuesday, will sign an executive order directing the “systematic review” of Buy American laws and the exemptions to those laws granted to trading partners, as well as the reform of U.S. guest worker programs, particularly H-1B visas, according to senior administration officials.

[Jenny Leonard] April 17th, 2017 [Inside U.S. Trade]

The “Buy American” portion of the executive order -- which one administration official said has “four main pieces” -- directs the Commerce Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to coordinate efforts to examine the U.S. Buy American policy, in particular its loopholes and exceptions granted to foreign bidders.

“The executive order ushers in a new, more muscular Buy American policy based on the twin pillars of maximizing Made in America content and minimizing waivers and exceptions to Buy American laws,” the official said on April 17. “Every agency will conduct top-to-bottom assessments aimed squarely at cracking down on weak monitoring, enforcement and compliance efforts and at rooting out every single Buy American loophole.”

In the first part of the order, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will be tasked to review all agency findings -- and 220 days from the date of the signing of the order, Nov. 23, he must present Trump with a report recommending how to “promptly close those loopholes.” The report will serve as “a blueprint for additional executive and regulatory actions to further strengthen Buy American, as well as guide possible legislative proposals,” the official said.


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