“Buy American” Presidential Executive Order Has No Immediate Impact on Transportation Agencies
On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed a Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American. The Executive Order does not change any existing requirements related to Buy America or Buy American programs. Instead, it orders executive branch agencies to “scrupulously monitor, enforce, and comply with Buy American Laws, to the extent they apply, and minimize the use of waivers, consistent with applicable law.” It also requires agencies to conduct reviews and assessments of their internal processes and propose means to maximize, in accordance with existing legislation, the use of materials produced in the United States.
Many transportation agencies already deal with domestic preference requirements on a regular basis. Because the Executive Order does not change existing law, it has no immediate impact on current Buy America and Buy American programs. After the required review and assessments by executive agencies, which will conclude in late November of this year, U.S. DOT may propose modifications to its Buy America and Buy American programs. For now, existing domestic preference requirements remain in place.