Government Executive: How Biden’s ‘Made in America’ Executive Order Could Impact Federal Contractors

“The full impact of President Biden’s ‘Made in America’ executive order compelling federal contractors to purchase more U.S.-manufactured products won’t be clear for some time, according to experts.

Five days after taking office, Biden issued an executive order on January 25 to push federal agencies to buy more products made in the United States. It builds on current laws—the Buy American and Buy America statutes, passed in 1933 and 1982, respectively. The federal government spends about $600 billion annually in contracting and current laws giving preference to American companies are not always followed and haven’t been “substantially updated since 1954,” said a fact-sheet from the White House.

‘The [executive order] directs the [Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council] to consider proposing rules to tighten up the [Buy American Acts] requirements,’ so ‘there are no immediate changes,’ said Adelicia Cliffe, partner at the law firm Crowell and Moring, who is part of the firm’s government contracts and international trade group. This is because any new rules will have to go through the formal rulemaking process…”

“An aspect of the order that could have a ‘fairly immediate impact,’ according to Cliffe, is the creation of the Made in America office within OMB to review waivers to purchase goods from outside the United States. The order mandates a list of actions within 45 days of the appointment of the office’s director.

The office could lead to ‘significant ramifications with respect to the impact on government contractors to the extent that there will be fewer waivers in the future,’ said Robert Burton, partner with Crowell & Moring and former deputy administrator and acting administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. ‘I think that’s where we’re headed.’…” Read the full article here.

Source: How Biden’s ‘Made in America’ Executive Order Could Impact Federal Contractors – By Courtney Bublé, February 24, 2021. Government Executive.

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