OMB, Commerce Dept Issue New Memo on ‘Buy American Laws’ Compliance

The Office of Management Budget and the Commerce Department have released a new memorandum on the enforcement and evaluation of domestic preferences in compliance with an executive order that seeks to direct federal agencies to procure U.S.-made products and materials.

The memo aims to guide agencies on how to minimize the use of waivers and exceptions in order for the federal government to optimize the potential impact of Buy American Laws, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wrote in the document released Friday.

The memo directs agency chiefs to submit to the Commerce Department and OMB a report that details their assessment of the implementation of Buy American Laws within their agencies by Sept. 15 in compliance with the executive order’s section 3.

The report should contain information on how agencies review the use of waivers “by type and impact on domestic jobs and manufacturing.”

The memo also requires agency heads to develop policies that seek to ensure that federal procurements and financial grants maximize the use of U.S.-made products.

The section 3 report should include information on training, internal reviews, marketing and outreach as well as guidance and procedures that seek to facilitate compliance with Buy American Laws and Trade Agreements Act.

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