Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - 46

[ MARKETS ] ADVANCED TEXTILES
T
Trade challenges
and opportunities
The top five issues facing
the industry in 2021.
by Nate Bolin
HE LIST OF TRADE ISSUES FACING WASHINGTON
policy makers in 2021 is long and complex. How these
issues will be addressed affects a range of industries, and
the textile industry is no exception. With member companies
driving innovation in materials essential to health care, advanced
technologies and national security, the industry is likely to feel this
impact more than most. So, what can you and your company do to
best position yourself in the months ahead?
Buy American initiatives
The U.S. government is one of the most important players in
the U.S. economy, accounting for approximately $600 billion in
spending each year. How that money is spent has an enormous
effect on U.S. trade, competitiveness and national security. As part
of an effort to promote U.S. manufacturing and investment in
U.S. businesses, President Biden made the rules governing federal
contracting a priority issue and has turned first to provisions of
the Buy American Act, a law that dates back to 1933 that allows
the U.S. government to give preference to U.S.-made goods in
federal contracts.
In January, President Biden signed an executive order that makes
changes to how the Buy American Act is implemented. This includes:
* Raising domestic content requirements for end products and
construction materials.
* Changing how domestic products can qualify for
preferential treatment.
* Increasing price preferences for domestic end products and
construction materials. The degree to which foreign products
are subsidized or benefit from other unfair trade practices will
also now be considered in assessing price differences.
* Narrowing exemptions for foreign items that are triggered
when a domestic alternative is not available or the foreign item
is a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) item.
* Mandating that waivers of Buy American Act requirements
must be approved by a new Made in America office.
* Ordering federal agencies to use the Manufacturing Extension
Partnership to seek out domestic suppliers, including small- and
medium-sized companies, to produce goods and materials for
federal procurement.
The federal body that administers U.S. procurement rules, the
Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council, was required to
develop new regulations to implement the changes by July 24, 2021.
The executive order represents just the tip of the iceberg
concerning changes that are likely to affect U.S. procurement and
trade flows. Advanced textiles companies that supply products to
the federal government or that are looking to expand in that area
should make sure they understand both the existing FAR rules and
the new proposals coming out of Washington. Investing in advice
46 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / July 2021

Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021

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Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Cover3
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Cover4
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Expo Attendee Brochure 1
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Expo Attendee Brochure 2
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Expo Attendee Brochure 3
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Expo Attendee Brochure 4
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Expo Attendee Brochure 5
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Expo Attendee Brochure 6
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