As you may have seen in the media over the past 24 hours, the Buy American Act is receiving some attention as Congress scrutinizes the Air Force's decision to award a mega-contract for air tankers to a consortium lead by a European company. In testimony yesterday, the Air Force’s acquisition chief reportedly reminded legislators that federal law and Buy American acquisition regulations (which, in part, implement U.S. international trade commitments) permit foreign partners to bid and win major procurement contracts. At this point, it is too early to say whether this controversy will spark any attempts at legislative action on the Buy American front, but I would not be surprised to see some in this populist climate on trade and foreign investment. It is important to note that in recent years some federal legislators have tried and failed to tighten Buy American requirements as they apply to the Defense Department.


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