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Buy American-Talk Versus Practice

The Economist January 30th 2021 pp59-60 |Finance & economics| Buy American| “Building block” “Joe Biden’s executive order may not have its intended effect”

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Summary of Article

While it sounds good “Buy American” the song trumpeted by Hoover (Buy American Act or BAA), Obama (2009 Stimulus), Trump (10 Executive Orders) and now Biden (Executive Order) is really not that easy as America, and probably most countries, don’t have the supply chains to make in-country-sourcing all that easy. Plus, we have various agreement on big contracts, those over $182,000, to allow 20 other countries to compete per a Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). This spending may be about $5Bn of the $291Bn earmarked in this way with a total federal procurement of $600Bn. Worse barring those in the GPA could “shut America off from services procurement overseas.” Companies modifying manufacturing to meet guidelines for “Buy American” could hurt there competitiveness elsewhere. So, “Protectionist talk on the campaign trails is easy. Putting it into practice is another matter.”

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