An Enhanced Buy American Regulation, Announced By Vice President Biden, Will Aid Domestic Industry

According to (CNN) — One of the administration’s most critical initiatives as it seeks to compete with China and build more resilient supply chains at home will be announced by President Joe Biden on Friday, according to two senior administration officials.

On Friday, President Trump is set to announce a $54 million investment by Siemens USA to increase its domestic manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as circuit boards for EV chargers, which would also generate 300 jobs, according to a senior administration official.

The US economy added 678,000 new jobs in February, beating predictions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released its monthly report just hours before President Obama speaks. In February, the jobless rate fell to a new historic low of 3.8 percent.

“Today’s report shows that my plan to build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out is working to get America back to work,” Biden said in a statement, citing gains in the leisure and hospitality, construction, retail, and manufacturing industries.

Purchases funded using public funds would now be required to contain 75% US-produced content rather than the current 55% standard under the President’s Buy American rule modification, which was first announced in July 2021. Companies will be given time and space to adapt to the new law, which will be phased in. Starting this year, the percentage will rise to 60 percent, then 75 percent by 2029.

“The final rule will ensure taxpayer dollars create good-paying jobs here at home, strengthen critical supply chains and position US businesses to compete in strategic industries,” that official said.

For both national and economic security, the new law would also include “a framework” to implement “increased price preferences” for identified key products and components in strategic industries, according to an official. A second rulemaking process will determine the specifics of this.

Because the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council’s new Buy American regulation does not contain an update allowing the federal government to verify contractor statements about the percentage of domestically created content in their products, it is unknown how many businesses or products will be affected. Officially, the administration still expects to impose a reporting requirement on businesses, as President Obama promised when he presented the proposal last year.

“First, 55% (US-made content) is not high enough, and second, contractors don’t have to tell us the total domestic content of their products. They just have to tell us that they hit the threshold. With nobody checking. They’ve got a new sheriff in town. We’re going to be checking,” Biden said last July during a trip to Pennsylvania.

A 180-day interagency review was launched under Biden’s Made in America executive order, and the Office of Management and Budget formed the Made in America office as part of that review. As part of its duties, an OMB employee monitors the process through which contractors seek waivers from the Made in America rules and keeps the public informed about those waivers that have been approved via a publicly accessible website.

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