Biden signs 'Buy American' order

U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday aimed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing.

At a press conference, Biden said he'd close loopholes in existing 'Buy American' provisions to ensure the federal government purchases American-made products.

To revitalize the manufacturing sector, which accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy, Biden will make federal contracts more transparent and create a senior position in the White House to oversee the process.

"Under the previous administration, the federal government contracts awarded directly to foreign companies went up 30 percent. That is going to change on our watch. Today I'm taking the first steps in my larger 'build back better' recovery plan that invest in American workers unions and businesses up and down the supply chain."

White House officials say Biden's push to revitalize manufacturing is key to driving up wages, creating union jobs, and strengthening U.S. supply chains, all of which have proved vexing for previous administrations, including former President Donald Trump.

Biden's executive order applies to about a third of the $600 billion in goods and services the federal government buys each year.

"When we buy America, we'll buy from all of America. That includes communities that have historically been left out of government procurement: Black, brown, Native American, small businesses and entrepreneurs in every region of the country."

Biden also reiterated plans announced on the campaign trail last year to replace the fleet of federal cars with American-made electric vehicles.

The AFL-CIO federation of trade unions welcomed Biden's order in a statement, saying, "This order is a good first step in revitalizing U.S. manufacturing, which Trump's policies failed to do over the past four years."

China overtook the United States as the world's top manufacturer in 2010, and was responsible for 28 percent of global output in 2018, according to United Nations data.