Washington, D.C. (April 29, 2021)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) on Thursday applauded the proposal by President Joe Biden to include “Buy American” provisions in the infrastructure package his administration is proposing. The call came during his speech last night to a joint session of Congress.
NCFC has long called for stricter enforcement of “Buy American” provisions in programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) such as the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs. Shortly after coming into office, President Biden signed an executive order seeking to close loopholes in how domestic content is measured, to create a new position at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to oversee the issue, and to increase oversight of waivers to domestic preference laws.
“The president has spoken forcefully about the need to ensure that American tax dollars are used to buy products made or grown in America to create American jobs and America’s farmer co-ops strongly support him in this effort,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “At the same time, it remains vital that Buy American provisions are enforced throughout the federal government; we heard similar claims of support during the previous administration with minimal follow through or impact. We are pleased to see that the current administration has followed through by naming a Made in America director at OMB to oversee “Buy American” provisions.
“We hope to see a continued focus on this issue moving forward,” Conner concluded. “It remains important for the Administration to work with Congress to ensure that stronger ‘Buy American’ provisions are codified in law to provide continuity through future administrations.”
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 2,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.