Trumps Executive Order regarding Buy America Made

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Trumps Executive Order regarding Buy America Made

26 Feb 2019 | ManufacturingNZ

Trumps Executive Order regarding Buy America Made

Essentially the January 31 Executive Order requires federal agencies to encourage recipients of “federal financial assistance awards” that relate to infrastructure projects to use, to the greatest extent practicable, certain American products in their contracts.

In other words, if you are a state agency and you get federal money for your infrastructure project, you will be encouraged to give preference to certain kinds of American-made products.  The products in question are:
-          Iron
-          Aluminium
-          Steel
-          Cement
-          Other manufactured products (being “items and construction materials composed in whole or in part of non-ferrous metals such as aluminium; plastics and polymer-based products such as polyvinyl chloride pipe; aggregates such as concrete; glass, including optical fibre; and lumber”)
There is also a requirement for heads of agencies administering programmes for the provision of federal financial assistance to infrastructure projects to report on tools or techniques that have been or could be used to maximise the use of US products.

I had a look at a couple of sources that I usually trust and here is what one had to say about the effect of the January 31 Executive Order:

“As a result of these developments, we expect that Buy American Act/Trade Agreements Act compliance will become an even bigger enforcement priority.  We expect that contracting entities, both at the federal and sub-federal level, will begin scrutinizing certifications as to country of origin/compliance more closely than has generally been done in the past.  Accordingly, if you are selling directly or indirectly to the government, we recommend that you review your processes for ensuring that your “Buy America” certifications are accurate and auditable (i.e., make sure you are conducting the right analysis and retaining the right supporting documentation).  Companies that are confident in their programs should have a distinct advantage in this space for the foreseeable future.” (See the full commentary at: http://www.internationaltradecomplianceupdate.com/2019/02/11/us-updates-to-the-buy-american-hire-american-initiative/)

Based on this, it seems that the January 31 order may have the effect of compelling non-federal agencies to make a greater effort to buy American products of the type identified.  If you are a New Zealand company selling those types of products into the US, your chances of selling them to state or federal agencies therefore look to be getting slimmer.

Here is the link to the actual order: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-strengthening-buy-american-preferences-infrastructure-projects/

For further assistance, contact Tracy Epps at tracy.epps@chapmantripp.com