TRUMP TO ORDER AGENCIES TO BUY AMERICAN

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By Miriam Raftery

April 18, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order requiring federal agencies to buy American products and prioritize using American workers. In an effort to jumpstart the U.S. economy, the President aims to tighten up existing waivers to require approval by agency heads for making non-American procurements, GovExec reports.

On Monday, Trump told reporters, “Buy American is the Trump administration’s highest priority when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars.”

Agencies will be required to conduct a review of their procurements and waivers, and will reportedly be held accountable for failures to buy American. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has been asked to review the agencies’ findings and submit a report within 220 days.

The effort aims to end the practice of awarding government contracts to low bidders using foreign-made content that undercuts American factories and jobs.

The order also poses challenges for agencies, however. Trump’s proposed federal budget has slashed money for nearly every agency, so it’s unclear how realistically agencies would be able to spend more for American goods when their budgets are reduced. 

Short-term, some products may not be available with all-American made components, though long-term, the President’s order could create new demand for American goods that potentially could lead to increased production and new jobs, as well as an increase in American workers paying income taxes from those new jobs.