President Trump Signs Executive Order on “Buy American, Hire American”
Trump signed a new executive
order concerning the use of American made products and materials and
American labor on federal and federally assisted procurements and projects. The
“Buy American” portion of the order intends to narrow the universe of iron,
steel, and manufactured goods that are able to comply with domestic materials
and products sourcing laws already on the books. This web of confusing laws and
regulations governs which products can be incorporated on federal and federally
assisted construction projects.
longstanding Buy American Act (BAA) has required U.S. products to be used on
federal procurements since the Great Depression, but additional layers of
statutes to modify the underlying law, as well as execute a growing
international body of trade law, have changed the original Act over time. Under
the Buy American Act, an “American-made” product means a product that is substantially
transformed within the U.S. or comes from a country we have an existing trade
Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration projects a different,
though similarly named law, called “Buy America” applies. This law also
requires iron, steel and manufactured goods to be made in America, but its
implementing regulations define “American made” more narrowly, requiring all
processes involved in the iron or steel products (including melting and
pouring) to take place in the U.S. The Executive Order takes this more narrow
definition of “American-made” and applies it government-wide. The Order also
intends to discourage the use of waivers to these laws and to study the effects
of the various international trade agreements the U.S. is party to on American
products in government procurements.
Executive Order also included a provision that instructs government agencies to
review the H-1B visa program and recommend reforms to the program. The H-1B
program is a temporary, with a statutory limit, visa for foreigners to fill
“specialty occupations” such as engineering. No changes are required at this
time for employers currently utilizing the H-1B visa program.
For more information, contact Scott Berry email@example.com or (703) 837-5321.
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