In his State of the Union address, President Biden made the case for requiring the majority of materials on federally funded infrastructure programs to be American made. This directive would benefit American companies and workers, drive domestic growth and create more American jobs. It would also decrease emissions via reduced transportation distances, and potentially revitalize locations decimated by the loss of manufacturing jobs over the past few decades.
Despite these benefits, the order is not without its challenges and risks, both to federal contractors and government procurement officials. Critics debate whether or not American industry can even supply materials at demanded quantities, question what this means for North American trading partners and are concerned about cost implications associated with the plan.