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Biden Wants To Raise The Threshold For Products Considered Made In America

The president will travel to Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley Wednesday to detail the new rule.
The president will travel to Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley Wednesday to detail the new rule.

Updated July 28, 2021 at 6:00 PM ET

President Biden proposed a rule on Wednesday that would change the way the federal government assesses products made in America.

Right now, the federal government has to spend tax dollars on products made in the U.S., but purchases qualify for that label with 55% of their materials coming from the United States. Biden is proposing raising the threshold to 75% by the end of the decade.

During a visit to a manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania, Biden argued that changing the rule would provide more effective support for domestic industries.

"In recent years, 'Buy American' has become a hollow promise. My administration is going to make 'Buy American' a reality," Biden said at a Mack Trucks facility in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley — a key swing region in the swing state.

The rule would take several months to be finalized, and it's the latest effort by the administration to boost domestic manufacturing.

In his first days in office, Biden signed an executive order that administration officials said would close loopholes in "Buy American" policies for the federal government.

Biden's recent itinerary has been big on tours of manufacturing sites as he's pushed for a bipartisan infrastructure package in Congress.

The group of senators working on the effort, which would fund traditional infrastructure projects such as roads and rail, announced a deal on Wednesday.

Biden celebrated the lawmakers' progress in his remarks in Pennsylvania.

"I'm working with Democrats and Republicans to get this done, because while there's a lot that we don't agree on, I believe that we should be able to work together on the things we do agree on," he said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Detrow is a White House correspondent for NPR and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast.
Ayesha Rascoe is a White House correspondent for NPR. She is currently covering her third presidential administration. Rascoe's White House coverage has included a number of high profile foreign trips, including President Trump's 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and President Obama's final NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.