By Made in America Director Celeste Drake
Over the last nine months, the Administration has made significant progress advancing the President’s vision and strategy for ensuring a future made in all of America by all of America’s workers. We’re supporting American manufacturing through billions of dollars in new purchases, from acquiring electric vehicles and energy efficient technologies made in America to lunar delivery services from U.S. companies. We issued new guidance requiring agencies to better justify and reduce waivers to Made-in-America laws. And we launched MadeInAmerica.gov, an online hub that provides new levels of transparency and information about the Administration’s progress toward a future made in America.
Today, to continue building on this work and further enhance transparency, we’re making agency proposals for waivers to Made-in-America laws available online at MadeInAmerica.gov for the public to view, scrutinize, and assess.
Why is this new step so important? Under a longstanding process, agencies can waive Made in America requirements when a mission-critical product is not made in the United States, is not available at a reasonable cost, or is otherwise not in the public interest. Historically, agencies have done this independently and with little transparency.
In January, President Biden created my office and charged us with reviewing proposed waivers to ensure they are justified and align with his bold Buy American standards. With today’s action, we’re going a step further in our commitment to transparency and accountability by making waiver proposals and the justifications behind them public for the first time since the first Made-in-America laws were enacted in 1933. We’re starting with waivers that are used when a product isn’t available domestically, and we’ll provide real-time updates on MadeinAmerica.gov from the point a proposed waiver is submitted to my office for review to when we issue our decision. My office’s decisions will also be made public.
This is an important update for American businesses too, and a change we hope will reduce the need for waivers altogether. By seeing the types of mission-critical products Federal agencies are having trouble sourcing domestically, American farmers, manufacturers, ranchers, and other firms can find potential new business opportunities with the government and work to fill those opportunities with Made in America products. These kinds of connections are vital, both for agencies looking to see if previously unknown domestic products can meet their needs and for American manufacturers looking to do business with the Federal Government.
With more than $600 billion in annual procurement spending and as the single largest purchaser of consumer goods in the world, the Federal Government has the purchasing power to shape markets and accelerate innovation. With today’s announcement, we’re taking another step forward to deliver on President Biden’s commitment to use that power to help America’s businesses compete in strategic industries and help ensure America’s workers thrive.
Celeste Drake is the Director of the Made in America Office at the Office of Management and Budget.