Biden to sign executive order aimed at strengthening American manufacturing sector

Photo (c) Don Mason - Getty Images

The order would increase the amount of U.S.-made goods purchased by the federal government

President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order today aimed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing.

During his campaign, Biden said that he would bolster the government’s Buy American rules if elected. Monday’s “Made in America” order will come with a 180-day deadline to formalize changes, according to an administration official. 

"He believes we can rebuild the vitality of American manufacturing and our industrial strength. A big piece of that is centered around the idea that when we use taxpayer money to rebuild America, we buy American and we support American jobs," the official said.

Under the order, the Buy American program will be modified to make it more difficult for contractors to sell foreign-made goods to federal agencies. The order will also make it harder to obtain waivers that let agencies avoid the Buy American rules. 

Investing in U.S. workers

The manufacturing industry took a hit under the COVID-19 pandemic, and the sector is still down 543,000 jobs since February 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The order is part of Biden’s "Build Back Better" plan to revitalize the U.S. economy. It seeks to ensure that "when the federal government spends taxpayer dollars they are spent on American made goods by American workers and with American-made component parts," the White House said in a briefing document.

The newly installed president has signed 30 executive orders in less than a week. A majority have focused on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and many have reversed policies enacted under the Trump administration. 

The president has started the process of bumping the minimum wage for federal workers to $15 and hour and has set out to provide additional relief to very low-income Americans. Additional orders focusing on racial equity, climate, health care, and immigration are expected to come this week. 

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