Trump signed the executive order during the Made in America Product Showcase © AFP/Getty Images
Trump signed the executive order during the Made in America Product Showcase © AFP/Getty Images

Trump aims to boost domestic steel in federal projects

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
16 July 2019

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order designed to boost the use of domestically-produced iron and steel in products bought by federal agencies.

Under the order Trump has increased the proportion of US-made iron and steel that must be used in public projects from 50% to 95%.

The move builds on the Buy American Act of 1954, under which a product is considered foreign if 50% of its materials, in cost terms, come from abroad. Trump proposes for steel and iron products this figure is reduced to 5%, while for all other end products it becomes 45%.

Federal agencies will be able to favour foreign goods if the price difference with a domestically-produced alternative is 20%, or 30% for small businesses.

“It is the policy of the United States to buy American and to maximise, consistent with law, the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States,” said Trump. “To those ends, my administration shall enforce the Buy American Act to the greatest extent permitted by law.”

The move, due to come into force in 180 days following consultation, follows Trump’s imposition of a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% on aluminium in 2018.

In 2017 Trump signed another executive order, dubbed “Buy American, Hire American”, to increase the use of domestic products in public procurement.

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