AAM Statement: Biden Administration Unveils New Buy Clean Program to Promote Cleaner American Manufacturing

Buy Clean policies must build upon Buy America preferences that promote investments in  American-made products and materials with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, General Services Administration Administrator Robin Carnahan, and Deputy National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi joined members of the United Steelworkers (USW) and executives at a Cleveland-Cliffs facility in Ohio today to announce a new program that embeds “Buy Clean” policy across the federal government, aiming to lower emissions in the products and materials used to build U.S. infrastructure. 

If properly implemented, Buy Clean efforts like the one announced today can help the United States achieve its climate goals while also strengthening our manufacturing sector. To make that happen, it is essential that Buy Clean build upon strong Buy America policies – including the recently enacted “Build America, Buy America” requirements in the 2021 Infrastructure Law – to prevent production shifts to countries that rely on practices that are significantly less energy efficient and far more polluting than those in the United States. 

AAM President Scott Paul said:

“American workers and manufacturers are already leading the way in transitioning to a cleaner economy, making major investments to lower carbon emissions and do their part to address climate change.

“Buy Clean provides an opportunity to boost to American manufacturers and workers who are doing the hard work to build a cleaner industrial sector. But if Buy Clean isn’t properly integrated with Buy America preferences, U.S. workers and manufacturers could be undermined by foreign countries that are aiming to dominate global production, including through predatory state investments and overcapacity.

“That will stifle opportunities for American production and innovation, make the transition to a clean energy economy much more challenging, and won’t achieve the goal of lowering emissions anyway. 

“As Buy Clean efforts move forward, appropriate consideration must be given to the various production processes among domestic producers of steel and other products. Our climate goals are achievable, but rely on sizeable investments to spur technology developments as well as a stable market for returns on these investments. The newly enacted Inflation Reduction Act is a step in the right direction, but more must be done to enable these advances within sectors that have been subjected to decades of unfair trade.  

“Climate change is one of the most daunting problems of our time, but the United States can lead the way in addressing it if we get our policy response right. Let’s make sure Buy Clean builds upon Buy America so we can turn our climate challenges into new opportunities and build a green economy that is truly Made in America.”

Scott Paul previously wrote to the Biden administration about Buy Clean. You can find his comments here.