What “Buy American” means in a global economy


Biden and his business team clearly appreciate the advantages of a networked global economy. In June, Biden pledged that the US would “maintain a level playing field” as part of a commitment to ensure we remain “the most attractive place in the world for business to invest and grow, creating jobs here at home and strengthening supply chains.” across the country and deepening our relationships with allies and partners. “

Biden’s choice of a foreign-owned manufacturing facility for his recent Buy American speech underscores his appreciation for the contribution of global corporations to US employment growth. Yet this instinct for openness and cooperation sometimes clashes with the political appeal of Buy American embassies, which in their most extreme form actually undermine job growth and national security in the US.

Last month, for example, the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NGO) – the intelligence agency responsible for America’s spy satellites – published draconian procurement rules prohibiting the agency from buying technology from international contractors, even those with headquarters in close proximity allied countries have and theirs. manufacture technology right here in the US

Everyone understands the need to protect sensitive national security supply chains, but a procurement policy that cannot distinguish between China and Russia on the one hand and our closest geopolitical allies on the other will not make us safer.

As the example of NGOs shows, it is easy for policies to increase domestic production to turn into protectionist policies that actually undermine US employment growth. Because of this, the government’s proposed new Buy American rules raise serious questions about how products made here in the US by companies with overseas headquarters will be treated in state purchase decisions. It is important that Biden ensures that these rules are not misinterpreted to exclude US manufacturing activities from international companies that rely on global supply chains.

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