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Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Office; Jeff Hannapel & Christian Richter, The Policy Group, Washington, D.C.

Executive Order Promoting “Buy American, Hire American” Signed


On April 18, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order, dubbed “Buy American, Hire American,” requiring agencies to conduct a top-to-bottom assessment of the procurement rules and remove loopholes that would give foreign products an advantage over American ones. Te White House outlined the four main points of the order: • Directs every agency to moni- tor, enforce and comply with buy-American laws.

• Require agencies to use waivers and exemptions to buy-Amer- ican judiciously, and mandates that only the head of an agency can issue a waiver.

• Directs the government to enforce buy-American rules. A report from the Government Accountability Office in Febru- ary suggested the U.S. may not be getting a fair share of the foreign government procure-


Commerce Investigating to Determine Whether Steel Imports Should Be Restricted

The Trump Administration of- ficially launched an investigation into whether steel imports should be restricted on national security grounds pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Section 232 is a rarely-used provi- sion of U.S. trade law and was last invoked in 2001. This action reflects the Administration’s willingness to aggressively address unfair trade practices, in particular, those related to the steel industry. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will conduct an investigation to determine the effects of steel im- ports on the national security of the

20 | MODERN CASTING May 2017

United States in accordance with the statute. At the end of the investiga- tion, the Secretary will submit a report to the President on the findings. If the Secretary finds that steel is being imported in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national secu- rity, the Secretary will also recom- mend actions that should be taken to adjust steel imports.

Appeal of DOL Final Overtime Rule Won’t Be Heard Until at Least the Summer

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the government another ex- tension regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime rule, which raised the salary level for the

white-collar exemptions from $23,660 to $47,476. The final reply brief was scheduled to be filed on May 1. The latest extension pushes the date back to June 30. Back in November, Judge Amos Mazzant ruled that the DOL ex- ceeded its authority by focusing on salaries to determine whether employees are eligible for overtime pay or not. Mazzant stated that the department should instead examine the duties that employees perform to determine if they qualify as “execu- tive, administrative or professional” workers who are exempt from over- time requirements.

For additional information, contact Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Off ice,


ment market through fair trade agreements.

• Reaffirms the standards for steel production.

Te order calls agencies to evalu- ate their contractor trade practices to clamp down on weak monitoring, en- forcement and compliance efforts. Te agencies will then submit their reports to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who will advise the president on the policy objectives required to elimi- nate the loopholes, which the White House estimates will be done within 220 days of the order’s signing. Te executive order also directs

the Commerce Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representa- tive to “comprehensively assess” the procurement provisions of all free- trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as well as the World Trade Organization’s Government Procure- ment Agreement. Labor groups, like

President Trump signed an executive order dubbed “Buy American, Hire American.”

the AFL-CIO, have suggested that any NAFTA rewrite should include the wholesale deletion of the procure- ment chapter that treats Canadian and Mexican goods as “American” for government purchasing decisions.

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