President Biden spent the first week of his administration taking executive action reversing many of former President Donald Trump’s signature policies, but on Monday, he will sign an order that has the hallmarks of Trumpism.
Biden will direct his federal government on Monday to update laws and regulations governing how it spends roughly $600 billion a year on contracts for goods and services. The order attempts to strengthen existing provisions giving workers and manufacturers in the United States preferential treatment, some of which haven’t been changed since 1954.
Specifically, Biden is asking agencies to tighten the requirements that need to be met for a product to be considered made in the U.S. He’s also requesting that they make it tougher for the government to justify buying foreign goods because of the price.
To oversee the reforms, he will appoint a “Made in America” director within the Office of Management and Budget, will centrally review any waivers granted, and will mandate biannual evaluations of the policy.
Biden’s order aims to support newer small and medium-sized firms through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. It also reiterates the importance of the Jones Act, which means only U.S.-flag vessels can carry cargo between U.S. ports.
Biden released his take on Trump’s “Make America Great” and “America First” campaign rhetoric last summer. His plan included making a $700 billion investment in U.S. manufacturing and innovation.
“I do not buy for one second that the vitality of American manufacturing is a thing of the past,” the two-term vice president and 36-year Delaware senator said at the time. “American manufacturing was the Arsenal of Democracy in World War II and must be part of the engine of American prosperity now.”
Biden’s “Made in America” push comes as he and his aides lobby Congress regarding his $1.9 trillion “America Rescue Plan.” It’s the first of two proposals he has to reinvigorate the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and resultant economic downturn.
Senate Republicans, and some centrist Democrats, have already balked at the framework’s $1.9 trillion price tag. Hoping his first legislative victory will be a bipartisan one, Biden’s chief economic adviser, Brian Deese, courted a bicameral group of lawmakers from both parties on the weekend.
Independent Maine Sen. Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats and was on the Sunday phone call, told CNN they were waiting for more data from the White House that backed up their costings.
If Biden doesn’t succeed in winning over enough Senate Republicans, he can rely on a budget procedure called reconciliation. Through reconciliation, the measure can pass the chamber with a simple majority vote.
Author : Naomi Lim
Source : Washington Examiner : Biden rolls out Trump-like ‘Made in America’ executive order