President-elect Joe Biden received over 75m votes in the US presidential election © Getty Images
President-elect Joe Biden received over 75m votes in the US presidential election © Getty Images

What does Biden’s win mean for procurement?

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to use federal government purchasing power to boost US manufacturing, build resilient domestic supply chains and limit climate change.

On Saturday 7 November, US media outlets projected a victory for Joe Biden in the US presidential election, beating incumbent president Donald Trump.

Prior to his victory, the president-elect outlined his vision for the US, detailing how federal government procurement would be used to rebuild American manufacturing and innovation and domestic supply chains, and to tackle climate change.

Made in America

Biden said he aimed to use the “full power of the federal government to bolster American industrial and technological strength”,  with plans to invest $400bn in US-made goods through federal government procurement. 

The president-elect said too often, domestic preference law “operates like a suggestion, not a requirement”. He pledged to “tighten these rules to require more legitimate American content”.

He added he would also close waiver loopholes that allow procurement officers in federal agencies to sidestep rules “without explanation or scrutiny”.

Biden said he would “establish a transparent process so that any time a federal contractor requests a waiver based on a claim that something can’t be made in America, it will be published on a website for all potential bidders and relevant stakeholders to see”. 

He added efforts would be made to identify firms – particularly small businesses and those owned by women and people of colour – that have the capability to fill procurement needs. The government would provide direct support so “they can raise their hand and have a shot at stepping up”.

The president-elect pledged that major public investments – from procurement, infrastructure, training and education – would reach communities across all states and regions, promising “historic investments in communities of colour and an emphasis on small businesses”.

He also stated there would be $300bn investment in research and development and breakthrough technologies, such as electric vehicle technology, lightweight materials, 5G and artificial intelligence, as part of job creation efforts in manufacturing and technology.

Rebuilding supply chains

Biden said he would work to ensure the US “does not face shortages of the critical products America needs in times of crisis”, highlighting the impact of Covid-19 on supply chains.

He said: “While medical supplies and equipment are our most pressing and urgent needs, US supply chain risks are not limited to these items. The US needs to close supply chain vulnerabilities across a range of critical products on which the US is dangerously dependent on foreign suppliers.” 

The president-elect cited the need to strengthen domestic supply chains in areas such as energy and grid resilience technologies, semiconductors, key electronics, telecommunications infrastructure, and key raw materials.

Biden also pledged to direct the federal government’s purchasing power to support manufacturing capacity for products designated as critical to US national security to build up capabilities throughout the supply chain. 

The use of federal purchasing power to build US manufacturing capacity for critical products will focus “not only on where the final product sold to the US government comes from, but at the supply chains of companies that receive large federal contracts”. 

Climate change

The president-elect also pledged to use federal government procurement – which spends $500bn a year – to “drive towards 100% clean energy and zero-emissions vehicles”.

He added he would ensure that all US government installations, buildings, and facilities are “more efficient and climate-ready” by harnessing their purchasing power and supply chains to drive innovation.

Biden also said he would require public companies to disclose climate risks and greenhouse gas emissions in their operations and supply chains.

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