On January 31, 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Strengthening Buy-American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects, placing continued emphasis on the importance of “the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States.”
This order builds upon the President’s “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, which he issued in April of 2017. The 2017 Order increased enforcement of standing Buy American laws and called for federal agencies to explore new possibilities regarding domestic preferences. In part, the 2017 Order required every agency to “scrupulously monitor, enforce, and comply with Buy American laws,” and to minimize the use of waivers of these laws.
The 2019 Order instructs federal agencies to develop rules to encourage contractors to comply with these preferences to the maximum extent practicable in any infrastructure project that receives any indirect federal government assistance. This includes recipients of loans, loan guarantees, grants, insurance subsidies or other forms of financing.