In his inauguration speech, President Trump promised: “We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.” The president will sign an executive order Thursday – titled “Strengthening Buy American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects” – that will further bolster these key pillars of his economic program.
Each year, more than 30 federal agencies award over $700 billion in federal financial assistance to more than 40,000 non-federal recipient organizations. This assistance comes in the form of loans, loan guarantees, grants, cooperative agreements, insurance and interest subsidies.
A more granular look at this federal financial assistance reveals that billions of taxpayer dollars fall through possible gaps in Buy American coverage.
Consider that, in the 2016 fiscal year, of the 265 listings in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance for infrastructure or construction projects, more than 200 did not require Buy American considerations. These projects across 14 different agencies added up to over $45 billion of expenditures.
The Buy American executive order the president will sign Thursday will make progress in closing potential gaps in coverage.
This article was published in Fox News on January 31, 2019.