Joe Biden Sent a Strong Message at the Mack Trucks Plant

After taking on the role as president, Joe Biden signed several executive orders in a few weeks. One such executive order, the “Buy American” order, is often overlooked and misunderstood, but it may significantly impact car sales and production in the United States. Learn more about how this “Buy American” plan differs from Trump‘s, Biden’s visit to a truck manufacturer, and when this plan will roll out below. 

Joe Biden’s “Buy American” plan differs from Trump’s

Joe Biden at the Mack Truck Lehigh Valley Operations factory in Macungie, Pennsylvania
Joe Biden at the Mack Truck Lehigh Valley Operations factory | Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Many have remarked that Biden’s “Buy American” plan sounds like an executive order that Trump signed during his tenure. Interestingly, Trump did have his own versions of “Buy American” executive orders, three of them to be exact, but they did not produce any tangible effects in the short or long term. In fact, the origins of the term “Buy American” span back decades, according to The Hill.

These orders from Trump encouraged government agencies and organizations to purchase American-made goods with monetary incentives for doing so, as well as fines and punishments for failing to do so. Unfortunately, there were and are several loopholes, in the form of waivers, with past efforts to encourage the purchase of American goods or services, so they often don’t produce the intended effect. This occurred during the Trump administration, rendering the orders ineffective.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration released a plan to have White House oversight on these waivers, hopefully reducing the number of agencies trying to game the system by using waivers. 

Joe Biden’s recent visit to Mack Trucks

Last month, Biden visited a Mack Trucks facility in Pennsylvania to announce his plans to put more federal funding into American-made products, including the Mack trucks that were on display behind him as he spoke. The current rule is that the federal government must spend a certain threshold on products made in America. However, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, this rule allows products made with only 55% of American parts or components to count as American-made. 

Biden’s new proposal would slowly increase that percentage up to 75%. Plus, he included that companies would have to prove that the products being labeled American-made truly have met that threshold instead of largely relying on the honor system. Biden called these proposals, “The biggest enforcement changes in ‘Buy America’ in 70 years.”

If you have ever seen large trucks on the highway delivering various types of cargo across the country, you have likely seen the work of Mack Trucks, a producer of semi-trucks. According to the Mack website, the company was founded in 1900 and has been one of North America’s largest semi-truck producers for decades. 

When does the Biden administration plan to roll out his “Buy American” plan?

Biden’s 75% plan is set to roll out gradually to give companies enough time to adapt their products to rely more on American materials and labor. The first change, an expectation of 60% American components, would take place immediately. The expectation of 75% American-made components wouldn’t be put into place until 2029. 

According to the White House, the federal government spends about $600 billion on contracts in the United States, and around half of those funds go toward buying products.  The Philadelphia Inquirer states that these figures include the approximately 1,500 Mack trucks used by civilian and military agencies. 

Critics of the plan argue that this will require more spending from the U.S. government and state that this could negatively affect the number of jobs available in the future. Others speculate that this could make prices increase for everyday Americans even more. 

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