Katherine McIntire Peters | April 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

Trump Orders Agencies to Buy American or Face Consequences

President Trump on Tuesday is expected to sign an executive order aimed at boosting the economy by instituting a “more muscular” approach to prioritizing American workers and products through federal immigration, procurement and trade laws.

“Buy American is the Trump administration’s highest priority when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars,” a senior administration official told reporters at a background briefing Monday afternoon.

The implications for federal agencies and federal contractors are significant. While a number of laws already require agencies to favor domestic products in federal procurements, administration officials said agencies too often circumvent the requirements through loopholes and waivers—practices the Trump administration intends to halt.

“Agencies have clear marching orders and they will be held strictly accountable for any failure to fulfill the Buy American mission. As part of this accountability, each agency will conduct a comprehensive top-to-bottom Buy American performance review, including an assessment of the agency’s waivers and exceptions as well as a requirement to provide recommendations to strengthen Buy American,” the official said, referring collectively to existing laws, including the 1933 Buy American Act and provisions in the 1982 Surface Transportation Assistance Act and the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Trump has tasked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross with reviewing agencies’ findings and submitting a report with a blueprint for reform within 220 days.

Going forward, public interest waivers in particular will be more narrowly construed and require approval from agency heads to ensure greater accountability, the official said. Also, agencies will need to factor predatory pricing into federal procurements.

“It’s simply unfair for government contracts to be awarded to low bidders who use dumped or injuriously subsidized foreign sourced content to push out domestic producers," the official said. "This portion of the executive order is an innovative step to stop the foreign cheaters from using taxpayer funds to steal our jobs, shutter our steel mills and offshore our taxes.” 

The executive order also requires the State, Labor and Homeland Security departments to crack down on H-1B visa abuse and fraud, and tasks Commerce with reviewing U.S. trade agreements for unfair practices.  

Comments
JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.