President Joe Biden’s govt order “Purchase American” may benefit western Pennsylvania, say commerce specialists – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On Monday afternoon, President Joe Biden signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to purchase US-made products with US tax dollars.

It’s an attempt to fill in loopholes that manufacturing companies in western Pennsylvania could help.

Every year, US $ 600 billion of our federal taxes are spent on products that are required by federal agencies. But much of that money is going overseas because there are loopholes in the current rules that President Biden is determined to close.

“In a very divisive political climate, this can be one of the things where both sides of the aisle can come together,” says David Iwinski, a Pittsburgh-based international trade advisor.

Iwanski told KDKA money editor Jon Delano that the state’s “Buy American” regulations need to be revised.

“There are many loopholes and many exceptions. This regulation closes those loopholes, removes these exemptions and creates a new position in the White House to focus on in Made in America, ”said Iwinksi.

“It’s a great shot in the arm for Western Pennsylvania,” said Chris Heck, president of the Pittsburgh Airport Chamber of Commerce.

According to Heck, local manufacturing companies will benefit from the increased chance of selling to the federal government.

“Certain companies, advanced manufacturing, robotics industry, the AI ​​community here on the tech side – and all kinds of companies we see are critical to this supply chain,” says Heck.

The coronavirus pandemic, which shortened the supply chain from China and other countries to local manufacturers, also taught us how to rely too heavily on foreign manufacturers of components or products.

“Businesses in western Pennsylvania are definitely affected,” says Iwinski.

But it’s also an opportunity for local businesses to fill the gap with American-made items.

“This is an opportunity. On the one hand, everyone is concerned, where do we get our parts from? And then there are western PA companies that should say, ‘Hey, pick us up,’ ”Iwinski added.

US Senator Bob Casey hopes the president’s order will undo the loss of manufacturing jobs.

“We want to do things in Pennsylvania again, and this is one of several steps we need to take to make sure that existing laws about buying Americans are enforced and benefiting Pennsylvania,” Casey said.

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