WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trumphas signed an executive order that raises the standards for products to be designated as Made in America, which will have a major impact on procurement of products by the federal and state government that runs into billions.
“Today, I’m pleased to announce that we will begin our Buy American requirements, but even stronger. Currently, a product can be 50 per cent foreign and it still counts as American-made,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Moments later he signed an executive order that will eventually raise these standards up to 75 per cent and above so that domestic goods will have to have 75 per cent American, and 95 per cent for iron and steel.
“The philosophy of my administration is simple: If we can build it, grow it, or make it in the United States, we will,” Trump said as he made rounds of the Made in America products on the lawns of the White House.
The Made in America campaign, which he believes is important for the country’s economy and reviving the manufacturing sector, has been a key part of the election campaign.
“When we choose American-made, something truly wonderful happens: Our communities thrive and flourish, our neighbourhoods bustle with commerce, our children dream bigger and bolder, and the bonds of loyalty that unite us as citizens become closer, richer, and deeper than ever before,” he said.
“That’s how we carry on the ‘flaming torch of Americanism’ as president Warren G. Harding called it,” he said.
Trump asserted that as a result of his policies, almost 1,400 companies had announced that they were bringing their jobs back to the United States from overseas.
The president noted that more than two-and-half years of his rule had already witnessed the creation of over six million new jobs and wages were rising at the highest pace in a decade.
Through the tax and regulatory reform, he said, workforce initiatives, trade enforcement, and the negotiation of new trade deals, the administration was fulfilling his promise to make “buy American and hire American” the new standard.
He asserted that his administration was pursuing fair trade by working to level the playing field so that American companies could compete in an increasingly global market.
“We significantly updated one of our most consequential trade deals, the United States–Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) to make it more beneficial to American workers,” he said.
“I also delivered on my promise to renegotiate the outdated and unbalanced North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“Once approved by the Congress, the USMCA will help reverse longstanding trade imbalances by granting American businesses across all sectors of our economy greater freedom to sell their goods and services throughout North America,” he added.