CLAIM: During his State of the Union (SOTU) address on Tuesday evening, President Joe Biden claimed his administration is “actually” ensuring that “taxpayers’ dollars support American jobs and businesses.”

VERDICT: MOSTLY FALSE. Biden’s infrastructure bill signed into law last year provides giant federal carve-outs for industries to outsource and offshore American jobs.


“When we use taxpayer dollars to rebuild America — we are going to Buy American: buy American products to support American jobs,” Biden said:

The federal government spends about $600 Billion a year to keep the country safe and secure. There’s been a law on the books for almost a century to make sure taxpayers’ dollars support American jobs and businesses. Every administration says they’ll do it, but we are actually doing it. We will buy American to make sure everything from the deck of an aircraft carrier to the steel on highway guardrails are made in America. [Emphasis added]

The claim, though, is not substantiated by the fine print in Biden’s infrastructure plan.

The plan allows the heads of federal agencies to issue waivers to corporations to work around Buy American requirements if they consider the requirement “inconsistent with the public interest,” or does not meet “satisfactory quality,” or if they believe buying American will increase costs for the projects.

The bill reads:

The head of a Federal agency that applies a domestic content procurement preference under this section may waive the application of that preference in any case in which the head of the Federal agency finds that:

  1. applying the domestic content procurement preference would be inconsistent with the public interest;
  2. types of iron, steel, manufactured products, or construction materials are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities or of a satisfactory quality; or
  3. the inclusion of iron, steel, manufactured products, or construction materials produced in the United States will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent.

The waivers will only be reviewed every five years and will have to be justified in the Federal Register with a public comment period of no fewer than 30 days. The waivers are likely to be a massive benefit for corporations that produce materials and products, often linked to the Chinese Communist Party.

In 1985, before China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO), the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled $6 billion. In 2021, the U.S. trade deficit with China hit more than $355 billion.

The total U.S. trade deficit, in 2021, came in at a record $859 billion.

The nation’s booming trade deficits have coincided with the loss of millions of American manufacturing jobs, as well as jobs in supporting industries. From 2001 t0 2018, for instance, the U.S.-China trade deficit has eliminated 3.7 million American jobs.

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