President Joe Biden signs an executive order related to American manufacturing and American workers, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. on Monday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 25 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden signed an executive order Monday that will increase federal government spending on American businesses, which had long been a priority in his campaign.
The White House said Biden's "Made in America" order will close loopholes in how domestic content is measured and increase oversight of potential waivers and domestic preference laws.
"Today, we are getting to work to rebuild the backbone of America -- manufacturing, unions, the middle class. It is based on the simple premise that we'll reward work and not wealth in this country," Biden said. "The key plank of the future will be made in America."
There are already restrictions for how many foreign products can be bought and assembled in the United States, but various loopholes typically allow the true number to exceed federal limits.
Former President Donald Trump's "Buy America" order in 2017 did not close the loopholes.
Biden's order also creates a new senior-level position in his administration charged with managing the president's new policy, and creates a website where businesses can view government contracts during the bidding process.
"A bold approach to Made-in-America requires leadership and accountability," the executive order states.
"The new director of Made-in-America at the Office of Management and Budget will oversee the implementation of this executive order, make sure the president's new rules are followed, work with key stakeholders and carry through the president's vision in conjunction with their executive agency partners."
The order reflects Biden's support of the Jones Act, which says only U.S.-flagged vessels should carry cargo between U.S. ports -- a show of support for American production and U.S. workers.
Further, Biden's directive urges federal agencies to utilize the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to support small- and medium-size producers connecting with domestic suppliers.
"This order is deeply intertwined with the president's commitment to invest in American manufacturing, including clean energy and critical supply chains, grow good-paying, union jobs, and advance racial equity," the order notes.
Some state and local governments have had to buy products from foreign manufacturers recently to obtain personal protective COVID-19 equipment.