The order aims to use $ 600 billion the federal government is spending on purchases to boost domestic factories, officials said.
President Joe Biden plans to sign an executive order on Monday to boost government purchases from U.S. manufacturers, administration officials said.
The United States has cut around 540,000 factory jobs since last February, as the coronavirus pandemic threw the world’s largest economy into recession. The goal of the order would be to use the $ 600 billion the federal government is spending on purchases to boost domestic factories and hiring, officials said who insisted on anonymity to discuss the announcement at come.
Biden’s order would change the rules of the Buy American program, making it more difficult for entrepreneurs to qualify for a waiver and sell overseas-made products to federal agencies. It also changes the rules so that more of the components of a manufactured product must come from US factories. Products made in the United States would also be protected by an increase in the government’s price threshold and preferences, the price difference over which the government can buy a foreign product.
The order also includes items that apply to the separate Buy America program, which applies separately to highways and bridges. He seeks to open up public markets to new businesses by looking for potential entrepreneurs. The ordinance would create a public website for companies that have been given waivers to sell foreign products to the government, so that American manufacturers can have more information and be in a more competitive position.
To help enforce those goals, the ordinance creates a position in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to oversee the initiative and focus on ensuring the government purchases more domestically produced goods. It also requires federal agencies to report on their progress in purchasing U.S. goods, while highlighting Biden’s support for the Jones Act, which requires only U.S.-flagged ships to carry cargo between U.S. ports.
Former presidents have vowed to revitalize the manufacturing sector as a source of job growth and have had mixed results. The government helped save the auto industry after the 2008 financial crisis, but the number of factory jobs has steadily declined over the past four decades.
The number of manufacturing jobs in the United States peaked in 1979 at 19.5 million and now stands at 12.3 million, according to the United States Department of Labor. Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump promised a factory revival, but manufacturing employment never returned to pre-Great Recession levels before the coronavirus hit.