(PresidentialInsider.com)- A new proposal has President Joe Biden looking a lot like his predecessor.
This week, the Biden administration said it was proposing a new rule the White House said marks “the most robust changes to implementation of the Buy American Act in almost 70 years.”
That law was signed way back in 1933, and requires the federal government to only purchase goods that have been determined to have been at least 55% manufactured within the country.
Biden’s new proposal would increase that to a 60% threshold. It would gradually increase the percentage to 75% over the next 10 years.
The Biden administration is currently seeking a comment period on the proposal, which is expected to take roughly two months. Then, it plans to publish any official changes it makes to the rule.
According to officials within the Biden administration, the proposal marks “just the first set of proposed reforms to procurement policy under the Biden-Harris administration to ensure taxpayer dollars help American businesses compete in strategic industries and help American workers thrive.”
The White House isn’t being secretive about this proposal at all. It’s likely because they know that Americans want products that are made in the country — that they like former President Donald Trump’s mantra of America First.
In a release that announced the proposal rule changes, the White House said:
“With $600 billion in annual procurement spending, almost half of which is in manufactured products from helicopter blades to trucks in a number of markets for goods and services, including the single largest purchaser of consumer goods in the world.
“Leveraging that purchasing power to shape markets and accelerate innovation is a key part of the Biden industrial strategy to grow the industries of the future to support U.S. workers, communities and firms. As the pandemic has demonstrated, federal procurement can strengthen the resiliency of domestic supply chains, and reduce the risk of Americans being adversely impacted by the actions of competitor nations during a time of crisis.”
In addition to the increased percentages for manufactured goods, the new proposal would also include a set of “enhanced price preferences for purposes of bid evaluation for select products or components.”
Disruptions to the supply chain proved extremely costly during the pandemic. It can have effects on economic security, national security, medical supplies and semiconducts, as a White House official pointed out.
Another proposed change would strengthen accountability and transparency rules over purchases made by the federal government.
White House officials have said this last component is extremely important, as there’s no proper channels and data that would ensure all government vendors and agencies are complying at this time with the Buy American Act.
All of these things were pushed by Trump. Biden’s team is trying to save face now by saying this new proposal “goes far beyong that work and represents one of the largest changes to Buy American in 70 years.”