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Administration stresses “Buy American” through revised procurement provisions

President Donald Trump issued an executive order strengthening Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council standards under the Buy American Act, which especially impacts heavy/civil or concrete contractors, along with precast or ready mixed producers, performing or supplying Federal Highway Administration-backed work. The latest in a series of orders supporting the Administration’s Buy American and Hire American initiatives directs federal agencies to consider tightening the preference requirements for Federal acquisitions and when foreign products can be used.

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President Trump hosted manufacturers from across the country at last month’s “Made in America” event, which served as a backdrop for an executive order bolstering his “Buy American, Hire American” plan. PHOTO: White House Briefing Room

According to the mid-July order, the FAR Council shall consider proposing for notice and public comment an amendment providing that a) materials in finished iron and steel products shall be considered to be of foreign origin if they constitute 5 percent or more of the total cost; and, b) for all other end products, the cost of foreign-sourced materials constitutes 45 percent or more of the costs.

“This is another positive step in ensuring the fullest possible implementation of existing domestic procurement laws and ensuring the steel industry remains competitive,” American Iron and Steel Institute CEO Thomas Gibson noted in a statement on the executive order. “Strong domestic procurement preferences for federally funded infrastructure projects are vital to the health of the domestic steel industry, and have helped create manufacturing jobs. We applaud President Trump for once again affirming his commitment to the steel industry that built, and continues to build, our nation.”