Order revises definition of U.S.-made products as president seeks to boost domestic manufacturing
By Yuka HayashiUpdated Jan. 25, 2021 5:14 pm ET
WASHINGTON—President Biden signed an executive order Monday imposing tougher rules on government procurement practices to increase purchases of products made in the U.S., a step toward fulfilling his Buy American campaign pledge to strengthen domestic manufacturing.
The new policies will include tightening the government procurement rules to make it harder for federal agencies to purchase imported products, revising the definition of American-made products and raising local-content requirements. The executive order also aims to ensure that small and midsize businesses will have better access to information needed to bid for government contracts.
“Under the Build Back Better recovery plan, we will invest hundreds of billions dollars in buying American products and materials to modernize our infrastructure and our competitive strength will increase in a competitive world,” Mr. Biden said at a press conference.
Some economists and trade experts have questioned the impact of such policies, citing the small size of government procurement in the overall economy, and noted that risks might include higher prices and retaliation against U.S. exports.
While the impact might be small, the new order hints at the broad shape of Mr. Biden’s trade policy and its focus on American workers. It states that Mr. Biden is committed to working with partners and allies to modernize international trade rules, including those related to government procurement, “to make sure all countries can use their taxpayer dollars to spur investment in their own countries.”