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Trump signs executive order to boost US steel, aluminum use in infrastructure projects

US President Mr Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order aimed at boosting the amount of US-produced materials, including steel, iron and aluminum, used in infrastructure projects. The order, titled “Strengthening Buy American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects,” however, does not include enforcement mechanisms or specific purchasing targets.

White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said the new executive order makes progress in closing potential gaps in coverage when it comes to procurement requirements. He said “This new executive order directs the head of each executive department and agency administering a covered program to encourage recipients of new federal financial assistance awards to use, to the greatest extent practicable, iron and aluminum as well as, steel, cement, and other manufactured products produced in the United States in every contract, subcontract, purchase order, or sub-award that is chargeable against such federal financial assistance award.”

The types of infrastructure potentially covered run the gamut from bridges, water infrastructure, and sewer systems to broadband Internet and cybersecurity, Navarro said. By extending Buy American principles to more federal financial assistance programs, this new executive order further reinforces the Trump administration’s Buy American preferences, he added.

Trump signed a similar executive order in April 2017 under the title “Buy American, Hire American,” which sought “specific recommendations to strengthen implementation of Buy American Laws, including domestic procurement preference policies and programs.”
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