By Government Contracts Editorial Staff
Executive Order 13881, dated July 15, 2019, emphasizes the federal government’s policy to “buy American and to maximize, consistent with law, the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States.” The order directs the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council to consider changes in the FAR’s Buy American Act regulations, which are codified in FAR Part 25. Specifically, the order directs the FAR Council to review and revise the FAR, as appropriate, “to most effectively carry out the goals of the Buy American Act and [the current] Administration’s policy of enforcing the Buy American Act to its maximum lawful extent.” In particular, this E.O. calls on the FAR Council to issue a proposed rule to amend applicable provisions in the FAR to state that materials will be considered to be of foreign origin if: for iron and steel end products, the cost of foreign iron and steel used in such iron and steel end products constitutes five percent or more of the cost of all the products used in such iron and steel end products; or for all other end products, the cost of the foreign products used in these end products constitutes 45 percent or more of the cost of all the products used in the end products. This E.O. follows two related orders: E.O 13788 of April 18, 2017, Buy American and Hire American; and in E.O. 13858 of January 31, 2019, Strengthening Buy-American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects.
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