On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) joined their colleagues, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), to introduce new legislation that would establish a centralized online hub to increase transparency and ensure federal agencies prioritize the purchase of American-made goods in compliance with existing law. S. 2284, the BuyAmerican.gov Act would direct the General Services Administration (GSA) to establish a central, publicly-available website, called BuyAmerican.gov, to collect and display information about each requested waiver to Buy American laws. This new website will allow manufacturers and other interested parties to identify contract opportunities and hold federal agencies accountable for abusing Buy American waivers, according to Senator Brown.
In the last five years, U.S federal agencies have spent $47.7 billion on goods manufactured by foreign firms. The Department of Defense (DoD), the largest purchaser of manufactured goods in the world, has spent almost $200 billion on manufactured goods made by foreign companies since 2007. In addition to creating the BuyAmerican.gov website, the bipartisan bill codifies President Trump’s Buy American Executive Order and requires agencies to report on the implementation of, and compliance with, Buy American laws. Brown and Portman have also introduced legislation that would apply Buy America rules to all federally-funded infrastructure projects.