New ‘Made in America’ Executive Order Recognizes MEP Program as Resource to Link Federal Agencies with US Manufacturers

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On January 25, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order on Ensuring the Future is Made in All of America by All American Workers, announced by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition.

This executive order is part of the new administration’s broader commitment to increase investments in U.S. manufacturing. It directs when the federal government spends taxpayer dollars, they are spent on goods made by American workers and with American-made components.

The executive order includes a substantial role for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program under U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. The order specifically directs federal agencies to work with the MEP program and its National Network™ of 51 MEP Centers in each state and Puerto Rico to connect with new domestic suppliers who can make the products they need while employing America’s workers. The order also appoints a new senior leader at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to carry out the order’s vision.

“This executive order will redefine what it means to be made in America. The U.S. has a strong manufacturing base and this executive order increases opportunities for the federal government to invest in American companies and American jobs,” said Chuck Spangler, board chair of the American Small Manufacturers Coalition and President of the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership. “The MEP program has been around for more than 30 years and with our extensive network of MEP Centers we are uniquely positioned to help bridge the gap between the federal government and U.S. manufacturers.”

Dating back to the passage of the Buy American Act of 1933, federal law has required federal agencies to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases, but those requirements have been inconsistently applied. This executive order takes steps to make good on President Biden’s campaign promise to make Buy American real and close loopholes that allow companies to offshore production and jobs while still qualifying for domestic preferences. In addition to closing loopholes, the executive order directs federal agencies to reduce waivers and update the definition of American-made.

About ASMC
The American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC) is a trade association of manufacturing extension centers that work to improve the innovation and productivity of America’s manufacturing community. ASMC advocates for legislative and programmatic resources that allow our small manufacturing clients to better compete in the global marketplace. The Coalition and its members do this by increasing awareness of the importance of American small manufacturers, the challenges which they face, and the federal legislation and programs that affect them.

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