Buy American / Hire American Executive Order
On April 18, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order instructing agencies to examine their assistance awards and procurements to more effectively favor American goods. The E.O. covers both Buy American and Buy America laws that give a preference or exclusivity to purchases of American-made products by the federal government. Additionally, the E.O. requires agencies to “judiciously” use waivers to the Buy American laws. Waivers, like the Trade Agreements Act, permit buyers to give equal consideration to products from countries with whom the U.S. has trade agreements.
Preparing For A Government Shutdown
Unless Congress acts, the funds that enable the government to function will run out on April 28. For contractors, now is the time to prepare for a shutdown in the event a deal cannot be worked out to extend federal government operations. Not all contractors will be affected, but all should take inventory of their contracts and determine whether they fall under any of the exemptions of essential government functions that are not affected by a stoppage (and confirm such exemption with their contracting official). Contractors should review the funding status of the programs under which their contracts fall, the performance and invoicing status of each contract, consider impacts on any contractor employees, and document all communications and expenses for possible recovery (as well as taking steps to mitigate any costs incurred).