Plan “Made in the USA” seeks to prop up the manufacturing sector
The administration of President Joe Biden is taking a key step to ensure federal funds support America’s manufacturing sector, setting requirements on how federally-funded infrastructure projects source their building material.
Guidance issued Monday requires that purchased material, whether for a bridge, highway, water pipeline or broadband internet, be produced in the United States, according to federal government officials. However, the rules also establish a process for waiving those requirements in case there are not enough domestic producers or the material costs too much, with the goal of issuing fewer waivers as the country’s manufacturing capacity increases.
“There are going to be additional opportunities for good jobs in the manufacturing sector,” said Celeste Drake, director of the Made in America initiative at the White House Office of Management and Budget.
The president hopes to create more jobs, ease supply chain tensions and reduce reliance on China and other nations with interests other than those of the United States. With inflation at a 40-year high ahead of the 2022 midterms, Biden is betting that higher domestic production will ultimately reduce price pressures and blunt Republican attacks that his 1-year economic aid package, $9 trillion to help the economy after the effects of the coronavirus pandemic initially triggered a price hike.
“From day one, every action I’ve taken to rebuild our economy has been guided by one principle: Made in America,” Biden said Thursday in Greensboro, North Carolina. “You need a federal government that doesn’t just talk lip service about buying American products, but actually takes action.”
Biden said the roughly $700 billion the government spends annually on buying goods is supposed to prioritize American suppliers, but regulations dating back to the 1930s were watered down or enforced in ways that obscured the use of foreign imports.