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.

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Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show 2018

1503520190745
https://www.flibs.com/en/home.html
November 1-5, 2017
801 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2017

The Ultimate Boat Show Experience!

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the “Yachting Capital of the World” will host the 58th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on Nov 1- Nov 5, 2017. Show exhibits range from yacht builders and designers to exotic cars and brokerage yachts. A wide variety of boats will be on display including runabouts, sportfishers, high-performance boats, center consoles, cabin cruisers, flats boats, skiffs, express cruisers, sailing yachts, motor yachts, bowriders, catamarans, ski boats, jet boats, trawlers, inflatables, canoes, and extraordinary superyachts. FLIBS is exactly where you want to be!

https://www.flibs.com/en/home.html

According to the OIA Industry 2017 report, the outdoor recreation industry contributes $887 billion in consumer spending annually, provides 7.6 million jobs, generates $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenue.

http://boatingindustry.com/top-stories/2017/05/31/outdoor-recreation-industries-impact-u-s-economy/

 

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES MADE IN USA WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE

Certified, Inc., One of the Nation’s Top Independent Made in USA Certifiers is Well Positioned to Take the Lead Role

BOCA RATON, FL, July 18, 2017 – This week, the Trump administration doubled down on its commitment to buy products made in the USA. President Trump renewed his pledge to bring American jobs back by hosting a Made in USA Conference at the White House on Wednesday, July 19th.

Since before his inauguration, President Trump has been fighting on behalf of American workers and their families. The President recently signed the “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order to ensure that taxpayer funds are used to purchase USA made products and services. The President is committed to preserving and creating new jobs for all US citizens.

According to Senator Barbara Stabenow (2017), the government recently awarded more than $70 billion in contracts to foreign manufacturers that do not manufacture products in the United States. Furthermore, in 2013, the Department of Defense used 28,887 waivers and spent $19.7 billion on goods produced by foreign companies (Murphy, 2014).

“There are legitimate reasons for buying foreign made products, in some categories like technology and certain raw materials, USA made goods are not available or they may be too costly to include,” said Adam Reiser, CEO, and Founder of Certified, Inc. “However, we use far too many waivers because stipulations and definitions of ‘made in USA’ are too confusing even for an experienced official and authentic certification is too difficult to determine.”

“In 2014, Certified, along with several of its competitors were audited by the FTC and Certified was the only one that met or exceeded government standards,” according to Reiser. “Our Verity One™ system offers regulators and consumers, a cloud-based evidence repository that is accessible from any smartphone device, so records can be easily accessed by clients, procuring agencies, and consumers,” Reiser continued.

“We welcome this important conference and the Trump Administrations’ commitment to promoting and buying products and services made in the USA,” said Reiser. “Supporting USA manufacturers grows our economy and US jobs, and this action is a great indication that President Trump’s heart is in the right place.”

https://www.certified.bz/index.php/media-16/press-releases/11-news/49-made-in-usa-week

Whole Foods To Close Nine Stores & Scale Back Expansion Plans

Whole Foods to close 9 stores amid sluggish sales

Whole Foods Market said Wednesday it will close nine stores in the second quarter as it abandons its goal to open 1,200-plus stores.

“We’re going to continue to grow, but I think we’re going to be a more disciplined growth company than we have been in the past,” John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods, told analysts on the company’s first-quarter earnings call.

Mackey called the closing of the nine stores a “difficult but prudent decision” and said the company will now have more targeted site selection and “continued moderation in ending square footage growth.” He said these moves together will “result in a healthier bottom line, increased cash flow and higher returns.”

Still, the Texas-based company also said it welcomed 14 new stores in the first quarter, including two outlet relocations.

Mackey added the retailer remains “optimistic about the future growth potential for our 365 format but we want to see how this next round of stores perform before getting more aggressive.”

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Made in USA: Growing Panes for a High-Tech Window Company

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| IndustryWeek

sageglass-recruiting-millennials

SageGlass was bought by a French company but its manufacturing remains in the United States. Operations director David Pender talks about the pros and cons of this arrangement.

SageGlass invented dynamic glass—“tint on demand” windows that use special coatings and low voltages of electricity to filter out varying degrees of light. The small company started in 1989 in New York, but eventually moved to Faribault, Minnesota, 50 miles south of Minneapolis, because the area was developing a reputation for its innovation in window manufacturing.

Then in 2012, French building materials manufacturer Saint-Gobain acquired SageGlass. Although the unmet demand for dynamic glass was mainly in Europe, Saint-Gobain chose to keep production in Minnesota, build a new plant there, and convert the old plant to a research and development facility. The new facility can coat panes of glass that are more than twice the size of the old ones.

David Pender, director of operations at SageGlass (who previously spent 11 years in Germany working for Saint Gobain), talked about the challenges and advantages of keeping SageGlass’s manufacturing and R&D in the United States:

Challenge: Europe has the most growth potential, but our manufacturing facility is in the U.S.

Western Europe is a little further along than the U.S. in building codes. What’s considered extremely exotic here … is considered almost normal in Europe. Getting the supply chain right to be able to produce everything from what’s acceptable in the U.S. to what’s expected in Europe poses a certain amount of challenge. We’ve got to be sourcing some things from Europe, to make the products here and then shift them back to Europe. That doesn’t make too much sense at the moment, but we are trying to grow this market worldwide. Europe is growing very, very quickly because the Saint-Gobain name in Europe is a big plus.

Advantage: The highest demand for the product is still in the U.S.

Overall, we’re on a three to four times year-over-year expansion. So this year we’ll produce three to four times what we did in 2016. Which is a phenomenal growth rate, and that’s set to continue as we grow in the Europe, in the U.S. and the Middle East. We just got our first really big job in China. In the future, this facility will get to capacity and just produce in North America, and there will probably be another facility doing something similar in Europe—and who knows how that will do going forward.

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Trump tells manufacturers he will cut regulations, taxes, but must reshore

reuters

Reuters

Detroit, Shinola is ‘Made in USA’ success story

 

detroit-shinola

Detroit (AFP) – From the outside, there’s nothing much to say about this nondescript, hulking building in downtown Detroit, once the cradle of American industry.

But inside this former General Motors research lab, the fifth floor has been transformed into a state-of-the-art workshop producing watches and high-end bicycles.

Welcome to Shinola, a young American luxury lifestyle company breathing new life into the “Made in USA” label — a designation championed by President-elect Donald Trump.

The firm, which shares the building with a design school, has built an open factory space with wooden desks reminiscent of 1950s movie sets and high-tech machinery.

Watches, handbags, appointment books and other accessories carrying the “Made in Detroit” label are turned out here, while the bikes — made from parts designed in neighboring Wisconsin — and turntables, a new product, are assembled at the flagship store located nearby.

Dozens of employees work here — most of them African Americans, who make up the majority of residents in this blighted working-class city, forced into bankruptcy in 2013 under the weight of its massive debt.

Detroit suffered hugely from the decline of US manufacturing and especially the difficulties facing the “Big Three” — auto giants General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

The unemployment rate hit 10.4 percent in November, compared to the national average of 4.6 percent, according to official statistics.

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Ford NOT moving Lincoln SUV to Mexico

reuters
By David Shepardson | WASHINGTON

 

On Thursday, Trump posted on Twitter: “I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me!”

“He will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky – no Mexico,” the President-elect tweeted.

But Ford has repeatedly said it has no plans to close any U.S. plants and likely could not do so under the terms of the current United Auto Workers contract that expires in 2019.

This is not the first time Trump’s comments about Ford production have been called into question. Laslincoln-suvt year, he took credit for Ford moving work from Mexico to Ohio, while the automaker had already made the decision in 2011 – long before Trump announced a run for president.

Spokeswoman Christin Baker said Ford “confirmed with the President-elect that our small Lincoln utility vehicle made at the Louisville Assembly plant will stay in Kentucky”.

“We are encouraged that President-elect Trump and the new Congress will pursue policies that will improve U.S. competitiveness and make it possible to keep production of this vehicle here in the United States,” she added, in a statement.

 

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