Under this plan, officials at the Department of Commerce and the Department of Defense will identify goods and inputs they determine to be critical for our national security and essential for the protection of our industrial base. These goods would then become subject to a new local content requirement: if companies want access to the American market for these critical and essential goods, then over 50 percent of the value of those goods they sell in America must be made in America. Companies will have three years to comply, and can receive targeted, temporary waivers if they need more time to reshore production. In effect, the legislation applies the domestic sourcing principles of the Buy American Act — a law that governs federal government procurement — to the entire commercial market.
Local content requirements can help reverse our dependence on foreign nations both by discouraging multinational corporations from relying on fragile global supply chains, and also encouraging them instead to build productive capacity in the United States. They will increase certainty by reducing the likelihood of shortages and scarcity and the price swings like we see today. With this approach, we can exchange volatility for stability in our markets, and industrial decay for industrial strength.
To read the full commentary on the New York Times, please click here.