The White House’s announcement today of a proposed rulemaking requiring the Federal government to boost its purchases of American-made goods does not appear to impact existing regulations for the purchase of commercial IT products, at least thus far.
Current Buy American Act rules don’t cover commercial IT products. When the Biden administration issued an executive order in January looking to expand government spending on U.S.-made goods, it directed the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council to review “existing constraints on the extension of the requirements in Made in America Laws to information technology that is a commercial item.”
The January order also directed the FAR Council to “develop recommendations for lifting these constraints” on IT products to further promote the order’s policies.
The White House’s announcement today of Buy American actions does not appear to change the status quo.
The rulemaking announced today does propose to boost the percentages required for good to qualify as American-made.
The White House said that current rules require that products classified under the Buy American statute state that 55 percent of the value of those products must be made up of component parts made in the U.S. The proposed rulemaking aims to increase that value threshold to 60 percent immediately, and to 75 percent down the road.
“This proposal would close a problematic loophole in the current regulation, while also allowing businesses time to adjust their supply chains to increase the use of American-made components,” the White House said.
As for commercial IT products and their possible inclusion in Made in America laws, the place to watch for further developments still appears to be the FAR Council.