Adam Reiser: Trump administration struggles to enforce ‘Buy American’ EO 13788

Nearly eight months after President Donald J. Trump signed his executive order “Buy American and Hire American,” an expert on certifying whether goods are made in the United States shared with Big League Politics the challenges in certification and enforcing Trump’s intentions.

 

 

 

Adam Reiser, the CEO and founder of Certified, Inc., told Big League Politics he is seeing no action in the executive branch to move the president’s executive order forward.

A source familiar with how the White House drafted the executive order told Big League Politics: “There are zero teeth in it, you know? Let’s of fanfare, lots of publicity, back-slapping and hand-shaking with Trump–and now, it is getting resisted, like as if it meant nothing.”

According to the president’s directive, all agencies were supposed to have turned into both the Department of Commerce and the Office of Management and Budget how they plan to comply. These plans are to include, searchable databases of certified vendors, storage arrangements for the documents and simplifications of their internal procurement procedures.

Reiser said Trump’s executive order was the president’s attempt to bring federal procurement back in synch with the law.

The Buy American Act of 1933 was signed by President Herbert Hoover the day before he handed over the White House to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Act was championed by Rep. Joseph W. Byrne, (D.-Tenn.), then the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and later Speaker of the House.

Byrne’s idea was that given support by the Hearst newspapers and by Hoover’s Commissioner of Customs Francis F.A. Eble, who would go on to start the Buy American Club.

“The law says that the U.S. government has to show preferential treatment to U.S. manufacturers,” Reiser said. “It is so the government has to buy from its own.”

Reiser said that from the 1970s, the federal government has been providing waivers to the 1933 law. “In the 1980s and 1990s, it has picked up big-time.”

When the president signed Executive Order 13788, the White House was optimistic.

President Donald J. Trump holding his Executive Order 13788 at the April 18, 2017 Kenosha, Wis., signing ceremony. (White House photo)

A senior administration official speaking on background on Easter Monday, the day before the executive order was signed in the headquarters of the tool company Snap-On in Kenosha, Wisconsin, said the executive order would correct the abuse of the Buy American Act waiver process.

“Okay, so the culture immediately changes across the agencies.  We have a lax enforcement, lax monitoring, lax compliance,” the official said. Read more of this post

Auto Chiefs Concerned with NAFTA Stance

The auto industry has warned that significant changes to the so-called rules of origin could undercut the president’s America-first goals.

Top executives from Detroit automakers met Monday with Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials and aired their concerns about changes the Trump administration is seeking to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump has pushed for companies to construct more auto assembly plants in the U.S., while also pushing for major changes to NAFTA that the automakers oppose. U.S. negotiators have proposed significant changes to the so-called rules of origin for autos in a bid to ensure more U.S.-made parts are used in vehicles assembled in North America, a change that the auto industry has warned could undercut Trump’s America-first goals.

“We view the modernization of NAFTA as an important opportunity to update the 23-year-old agreement and set the stage for an expansion of U.S. auto exports,” Matt Blunt, a former Missouri governor who leads the American Automotive Policy Council, a trade association representing Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said in a statement. “We also appreciate the opportunity to directly address the industry’s concerns with the administration’s rule of origin proposal.”

Blunt said there are other things the group would like to have added to NAFTA, including a provision to guard against currency manipulation by Mexico and Canada.

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, GM CEO Mary Barra and Joe Hinrichs,  Ford’s president of global operations, attended the White House meeting. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn were also scheduled to attend the meeting, Pence’s office said earlier on Monday.

By Ryan Beene Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-27/auto-chiefs-air-concerns-with-trump-nafta-stance-in-white-house

 

 

Why ‘Made in America’ Is Stitched Into the Law, but Not the Uniforms

More Transportation Security Administration uniforms have been made in Mexico in recent years than in the United States, despite rules requiring the Department of Homeland Security to “buy American.”CreditDavid Mcnew/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s push to “buy American” has been a key initiative of his administration, and Mr. Trump speaks frequently about ensuring that the federal government is buying American products.

So it might come as a surprise that the uniforms of those Secret Service agents that protect and surround him every day are probably made outside the United States, most likely in Mexico.

The United States government has several laws on the books that require the military and other national security agencies to buy from American sources, when possible. But a new report from the Government Accountability Office shows how a primary rule covering the Department of Homeland Security, called the Kissell Amendment, has been undercut by a slew of bureaucratic restrictions and obligations required by international trade agreements.

As a result, over roughly the past three years, more Secret Service uniforms have been made in Mexico than in any other country — including the United States. The same goes for uniforms procured for Transportation Security Administration workers. The majority of uniforms for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are also made outside the United States, in countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Cambodia.

“It really doesn’t have much impact at all,” Kimberly Gianopoulos, the director of the Government Accountability Office’s international affairs and trade team, said of the Kissell Amendment.

Read more of this post

Buy American Act and Executive Order 13788 plans due today

Buy American Act

Buy American Act

NOVEMBER 15, 2017 Individual agency compliance plans must be submitted to the Director of the Office and Management and Budget (OMB) and Secretary of Commerce due today for the Buy America Act.

April 18, 2017, President Trump signed the Buy American and Hire American Executive Order #13788 to reduce Federal waiver applications, support the US economy, and hold government agencies responsible for initiatives regarding procuring Made in USA goods. This executive order reinforces the 1933 Buy American Act which was enacted to protect America’s interest by requiring government agencies to prefer Made in USA goods, products, and vendors for government procurements.

Timeline- for Buy America Act

The General Services Administration (GSA), which oversees $66 billion in annual government procurement, will be accountable for securing Made in USA goods and products for their scheduled procurements. Additionally, the GSA will have to provide annual implementation reports to the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding ‘Buy American’ initiatives starting this November of 2017. The Secretary of Commerce must submit these November reports to President Trump annually every January starting in 2019.

Signup here…

Source Data: http://baac.certified.bz/

The Real Truth About Organic Strawberries

Certified organic strawberries aren’t so organic after all. Although organic strawberries sell for 50% to 100% more than conventional berries, organic strawberries are fumigated with toxic chemicals, including methyl bromide, at the beginning stages of their life-cycle.

Methyl bromide, is used to sterilize the soil before strawberries are planted. It’s not sprayed on the fruit. It’s a soil fumigant that kills just about everything it touches. Many hybridized seed varieties have been created that can only grow in sterile soil.

“The soil is, as a matter of fact, full of live organisms. It is essential to conceive of it as something pulsating with life, not as a dead or inert mass.”

– Albert Howard, The Soil and Health, 1947

“For most of agriculture’s 10,000-year history, farmers have succeeded or failed based on their ability to nurture life within soil. The microorganisms and earthworms that thrive in healthy soil metabolize nutrients and make them available for crops. They also convert animal and vegetable waste into humus, thus regenerating their own habitat and maintaining that thin layer of topsoil on which all terrestrial life depends.
In modern agriculture, however, soil operates as a medium, not a habitat: It exists to transfer synthetic, pre-metabolized nutrients from factories to crops. In this regime, any life form found in soil is at best innocuous — and at worst a threat. When a vast field is planted in the same crop year after year, its pests concentrate in the soil, waiting to strike.”

 

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Largest Organic Milk Producer in the U.S. Isn’t Actually Organic at All

The country’s largest organic milk producer has allegedly been operating illegally, according to an exposé that appeared in the Washington Post Monday. Aurora Organic Dairy, which supplies store-brand organic milk to such retailers as Walmart, Costco, and Target, was accused in the exposé of failing to graze its cattle according to USDA organic standards.

A formal legal complaint was filed Tuesday against the dairy and its organic certifier, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, by organic watchdog group The Cornucopia Institute.

“The rigorous investigative work by Peter Whoriskey at The Washington Post clearly illustrates a pattern of long-term corruption by both Aurora Dairy and the USDA’s National Organic Program,” Mark Kastel, Cornucopia’s co-director, said in a press release. “Our organic regulators have turned a blind eye as giant industrial operations place ethical family-scale dairy farmers at a distinct competitive disadvantage.”

According to the Washington Post, the High Plains operation in Colorado, which is run by Aurora Organic Dairy, has been keeping almost all of its 15,000 cows in dirt- and manure-covered pens instead of in pasture, as organic regulations require. Reporters visited the farm several times across eight days last year, and each time they never found more than ten percent of the herd grazing. This was confirmed by a high-resolution satellite photo taken in mid-July by DigitalGlobe, the Post reports.

Buy American, Hire American President Trump

Snap-on CEO: Manufacturing has a PR Problem

By Published April 18, 2017Business Leaders FOXBusiness

Snap-on chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk on President Trump’s visit to the company’s headquarters in Wisconsin.

Snap-on Chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk said Tuesday he was pleased with President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” speech at the company’s headquarters in Wisconsin.

“We think we are one of the most quintessential manufacturers… More than just a phrase, it [Buy American, Hire American] creates and draws attention to the essential nature of American manufacturing to our country’s way forward,” Pinchuk told FOX Business’ Cheryl Casone.

The Snap-on executive said people no longer have respect for manufacturing jobs.

“From a Snap-on point of view, we think the seminal issue of our time is the upskilling of the American work force,” he said. “One of the reasons why the middle class has shrunk is because manufacturing jobs have reduced. Thirty percent have been lost in the last several decades.”

7 Foods Made In China You Must Avoid

Nowadays, more and more people are becoming aware of the fact that many of the foods we consume daily have been imported from China.

These are the some of the current most dangerous foods imported in China we consume daily:

1. Apple Juice

China is well known to use dangerous pesticides in the production of foods, including banned pesticides. Also, nearly 50% of all apple juice sold in the United States is imported from China.

2. Industrial Salt

The Chinese often use salt produced for industrial purposes as table salt, so there are high chances that we often consume industrial salt as well, which can lead to high stroke and heart attack risk, high blood pressure, and hypertension.

3. Cod Fish

Half of the American Cod is imported from China, and you have probably already heard about the water pollution and feeding issue with this fish in China.

4. Chicken

China often has issues with avian flu and other foodborne illnesses, and in 2013, the US Department of Agriculture approved the sale of Chinese chicken in America. However, research has also shown that the chicken there are fed and kept in disastrous conditions.

5. Chinese Garlic

31% of the garlic we use is imported from China, and Chinese use tons of harmful pesticides in the production of these foods, especially methyl bromide.

 6. Tilapia Fish

Furthermore, 80% of the tilapia sold in the United States is also Chinese. The tilapia fish is a bottom feeder, meaning that I consume all it can find. Yet, if we consider the water pollution, we can state that the consumption of anything raised in that water would be not just unsafe, but extremely dangerous.

 7. Plastic Rice

It has also been reported that China also produces fake, plastic rice. This rice is made of resin and potatoes and stays hard when boiled.

We believe that these facts above surely made you think that it is always better to stay on the safe side and buy and consume local, organic foods.

Grocers pledge to sell responsibly caught canned tuna

iStock tuna can

Americans really, really love canned tuna fish.

According to the National Fisheries Institute, Americans consumed more than 700 million pounds of canned tuna in 2015. That equates to 2.2 pounds per person annually.

The food remains among the top three seafood items Americans consume each year– and it’s held that ranking for more than 10 years.

But now retailers are saying that there’s something pretty fishy going on in the canned tuna industry and, as is the trend with many other foods, there’s been a renewed focus on how the fish is caught and processed– and where it comes from.

To that effect, on Whole Foods Market recently announced that by next January, all of the canned tuna sold in stores or used in its prepared foods departments will be sourced only from fishers that exclusively use pole-and-line, troll or hand line catch methods. These methods theoretically eliminate the issue of bycatch or the unintentional harvest of other fish, birds or mammals. With Whole Foods’ protocols in place, their fisherman will be catching tuna individually to prevent overfishing.

The chain’s new policy also mandates canned tuna products to originate from fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or be sourced from fisheries rated green (best choice) or yellow (good alternative) by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and The Safina Center.

Read more of this post

Sen. Roberts Tells Trump Administration to Forget About COOL

Sen. Roberts Tells Trump Administration to Forget About COOL
While the Trump administration prepares to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is warning against any reconsideration of country-of-origin labeling (COOL).
COOL is reportedly among the administration’s “key elements of a model trade agreement” that it aims to address in renegotiating NAFTA and other trade deals. But in a committee hearing last week Roberts told Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative ambassador, to scrap that idea.

“We’ve been down this road before,” Roberts said. “We fixed the issue of COOL in 2015. We don’t need to go down that road again. We narrowly escaped about $4 billion … in retaliatory tariffs against the United States. I do not think we need a constantly changing list of key elements of a model trade agreement … what we need is a U.S. Trade Representative confirmed … and in place who will embark on a robust trade policy.”

Source:

http://www.northernag.net/AGNews/AgNewsStories/TabId/657/ArtMID/2927/ArticleID/7996/Sen-Roberts-Tells-Trump-Administration-to-Forget-About-COOL.aspx

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