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Biden Signs Order Boosting Federal Spending on U.S. Products

Jan. 25, 2021, 8:57 PM

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday to boost federal agencies’ purchases of U.S. products, fulfilling a campaign pledge to lay out a “buy American” plan.

The order directs agencies to strengthen requirements so that they acquire more goods and services from U.S. companies and workers, according to administration officials. The agencies spend almost $600 billion through these contracts.

“I don’t buy for one second that the vitality of American manufacturing is a thing of the past,” Biden said before signing the order. “We are going to use taxpayers’ money to rebuild America.”

The new policy makes it harder for federal officials to obtain waivers to purchase products from overseas, addressing what the administration called loopholes that allowed agencies to skirt existing requirements. It establishes a new position in the White House Office of Management and Budget to oversee the changes and forces agencies seeking a waiver to post them on a public website where U.S. companies can check if they could fill the contract.

Biden’s order also directs a federal panel to finalize changes within six months that would tighten standards defining American-made products to ensure they are manufactured with a higher percentage of U.S. components and labor, officials said.

The order is part of a slew of unilateral actions the president is expected to take this week to begin checking off campaign pledges and advance his agenda. During the 2020 race, Biden pledged to make a $400 billion investment in products and services from American workers.

Former President Donald Trump signed a buy-American-and-hire-American executive order in April 2017 aimed at boosting the wages of U.S. workers in part by imposing stricter enforcement of immigration laws.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Jordan Fabian in Washington at jfabian6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net

Joshua Gallu, Justin Blum

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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