White House forms council to oversee ‘Made in America’ push

The White House on Wednesday established a council of officials from dozens of federal agencies to guide the administration’s efforts to boost purchasing of U.S.-made goods.

The Made in America Council, comprised of career and political officials, will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, according to guidance obtained exclusively by The Hill.

The officials on the council were designated as a result of a June executive order aimed at strengthening the administration’s Buy American policies.

“The goal of the Council is simple: advance our Made in America goals by creating a regular forum and community for agencies to collaborate as they work to strengthen the use of Federal procurement and Federal financial assistance to increase reliance on domestic supply chains and reduce the need for waivers over time,” Celeste Drake, director of the administration’s Made in America Office, said in a blog post seen first by The Hill.

The council will include representation from 23 of the 24 agencies named under the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act, which includes Cabinet agencies and additional departments like NASA and the General Services Administration. Twenty-eight agencies not covered by the CFO Act are also represented on the council.

The council will meet every couple months with the goal of coordinating how agencies use their roughly $600 billion in procurement spending. The council will also focus on spending in the context of implementing the bipartisan infrastructure law that President Biden signed late last year.

The group will further provide recommendations to help agencies source materials domestically and give recommendations to help strengthen supply chains in the U.S.

The establishment of the Made in America Council is the latest effort from the White House to make progress on increasing domestic purchasing through government contracts and spending.

Biden in January signed an executive order to increase federal procurement of U.S.-made goods by tightening Buy American requirements. The order also established the Made in America Office.

Drake was appointed in late April to serve as the first director of the office. A former trade and globalization policy specialist for the AFL-CIO union, Drake’s position was created with the goal of reducing unnecessary waivers that allowed agencies to purchase foreign-made goods.

The White House Office of Management and Budget sent a memo to agencies and department heads last year outlining how the administration would aim to reduce waivers and increase transparency so the federal government outsources its manufacturing needs less often.

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