Biden’s Build America, Buy America – What does it mean for U.S. Manufacturing?

President Biden’s Build America, Buy America (BABA) policy aims to boost domestic manufacturing and create more jobs in the United States. The policy requires that federal agencies prioritize the purchase of American-made goods for federally funded projects. BABA is expected to impact reshoring efforts, with a goal of making it more attractive for companies to bring their manufacturing operations back to the U.S. to support the new government contract requirements.

With this policy in place, U.S. manufacturers shouldhave the ability to compete on a more level playing field with foreign manufacturers who have been able to offer lower prices due to lower production costs (and fewer regulations). As a result, companies will be more likely to invest in domestic manufacturing, leading to increased job opportunities and a more robust U.S. manufacturing sector.

Because the policy requires that any government-funded procurement projects use products and materials made in the United States where possible, companies looking to win government contracts will need to ensure they are sourcing their materials and products locally up to a certain percentage.

This initiative also includes significant investments in infrastructure projects including transportation, energy and broadband, among others – in hopes of further stimulating manufacturing. By improving the infrastructure, businesses should have better access to markets, materials and customers, which would ultimately increase their competitiveness.

The program also aims to address supply chain vulnerabilities and strengthen domestic supply chains, with the goal of reducing dependence on foreign imports and improving the resilience of the U.S. manufacturing sector. This would help ensure that critical goods and supplies are readily available during times of crisis.

On the other side there are concerns that this policy may have some negative impacts. One potential risk is that the initiative may increase costs for businesses, as they may have to pay more for domestic goods and services.

Another concern is that this policy may lead to retaliation from other countries, who may also impose similar restrictions on U.S. goods and services. This could potentially harm U.S. exports and lead to a trade war that would be detrimental to the economy.

Furthermore, this initiative may limit access to goods from other countries that are otherwise unavailable, which could hurt American consumers and businesses. It may also discourage foreign investment in the U.S. and weaken the American economy.

At Badger Alloys, we have extensive experience in serving the Marine/Defense industry and understand how nuanced navigating government contracts can be. This initiative could add additional complexity to the already detailed requirements and should be carefully evaluated from all perspectives.

Overall, the Build America, Buy America initiative has noble intentions and could present a significant opportunity for domestic manufacturers and the U.S. economy. A collaborative and practical approach is needed to ensure that American businesses and consumers are not adversely affected. If implemented well, the initiative could stimulate growth, create jobs and support the reshoring of manufacturing to the United States.