On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed the “Buy American Hire American” Executive Order (“EO”). The EO restates the policy of the government to buy American. Federal agencies are required to make an assessment of what the EO calls the “Buy American Laws” aimed at maximum use of United States materials. The EO states that “it shall be the policy of the executive branch to maximize, consistent with law . . . the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States,” however, no measurable definition of “maximize” was provided in the EO. The EO also requires the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative “to assess the impacts of all United States free trade agreements and the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement on the operation of Buy American Laws, including their impacts on the implementation of domestic procurement preferences.” These reviews are designed to ensure that American companies are treated equitably by assessing the impact of these agreements on the Buy American Laws.
Importantly, the EO reaffirms that in order for iron and steel products to be considered “Produced in the United States,” all manufacturing processes must take place in the United States. The reaffirmation of Buy American Laws will undoubtedly assist U.S. manufacturing, especially if the review of trade agreements results in any curtailment of foreign manufactures’ ability to be exempt from the Buy American Act. The EO also has the potential to limit companies who previously benefited from U.S. Government procurements and grants through waivers and exemptions to Buy American requirements. The EO sets up the following timeline from the date of the EO: Continue Reading Executive Order Advocates For Strengthening Buy American Requirements