Editors Note: This is an important new expansion of the federal Buy America program to state level projects funded by federal money. CPA issued a press release in support of the announcement yesterday.
President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order aimed at strengthening “buy American” principles in federal infrastructure programs, a move that builds off interagency recommendations developed in 2017.
[Isabelle Hoagland | February 1, 2019 | Inside US Trade]
In an April 2017 executive order, Trump said he wanted a report within 150 days that included all federal agencies' thoughts on “the monitoring of, enforcement of, implementation of, and compliance with Buy American laws within their agencies.” The report was never made public despite calls from several Democratic lawmakers including Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
The new executive order is aimed at maximizing, “consistent with law, the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States, in Federal procurements and through the terms and conditions of Federal financial assistance awards,” it states.
During the order's signing, Trump said it would increase the reliance on “American-made goods,” adding that he wanted U.S. roads and bridges to “be built with American steel … American iron … American hands,” according to a White House press pool report.
The initiative directs federal agencies “administering a covered program” to – within 90 days – “encourage recipients of new Federal financial assistance awards pursuant to a covered program to use, to the greatest extent practicable, iron and aluminum as well as steel, cement, and other manufactured products produced in the United States in every contract, subcontract, purchase order, or sub-award that is chargeable against such Federal financial assistance award.”