Joe Biden’s ‘Buy American’ Executive Order Echoes Donald Trump’s 2017 Order

President Donald Trump pumps his fist after putting on a hard hat given to him before speaking to the National Electrical Contractors Association Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden received praise Monday for a new executive order encouraging the federal government to “buy American.” Remarkably, it echoed a similar executive order issued by President Donald Trump in early 2017.

In April 2017, Trump issued an Executive Order titled “Buy American and Hire American.” It declared:

(a) Buy American Laws. In order to promote economic and national security and to help stimulate economic growth, create good jobs at decent wages, strengthen our middle class, and support the American manufacturing and defense industrial bases, it shall be the policy of the executive branch to maximize, consistent with law, through terms and conditions of Federal financial assistance awards and Federal procurements, the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States.

(b) Hire American. In order to create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States, and to protect their economic interests, it shall be the policy of the executive branch to rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad, including section 212(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(5)).

Biden’s new executive order, titled “Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers,” repeats much, though not all, of the same language as Trump’s executive order:

It is the policy of my Administration that the United States Government should, consistent with applicable law, use terms and conditions of Federal financial assistance awards and Federal procurements to maximize the use of goods, products, and materials produced in, and services offered in, the United States. The United States Government should, whenever possible, procure goods, products, materials, and services from sources that will help American businesses compete in strategic industries and help America’s workers thrive.

Trump issued several other “Buy American” orders during his presidency, including orders relating to infrastructure and the U.S. Postal Service.

Biden argued Monday that his executive order strengthened government policy by requiring agencies to approach the White House before issuing waivers that would allow federal government departments to buy goods or services abroad.

However, Biden’s order is weaker in one crucial respect: unlike Trump, Biden is not directing immigration authorities to  enforce “laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad” rigorously to protect American workers.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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