By Ken Tyler, Laundry Consultant
President Biden recently signed a ‘Buy American’ executive order for government procurement with the goal to increase American-made purchases and strengthen U.S. manufacturing.
How will this executive order affect our industry?
There has been much discussion about this order, which affects the Federal Procurement of products made in America.
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy, as well as U.S. Customs, will be the developers of many of these new draft regulations, supporting the executive order of the President.
Implementation of the proposed changes will require much effort from the government. A new office to manage this program is being established to lay the groundwork for the order and establish compliance requirements.
Could there be a negative impact on the existing supply chain for textiles? Possibly.
Will our supply chain support the new order? That remains to be seen as our industry has limited manufacturing capability, particularly in the reusable textile market.
In the short term, some Buy American changes could drive a careful comparison of reusable textiles as compared to the alternative. However, it is too early to tell.
New regulations by the government will require that the textile and laundry industry – in addition to industry organizations and associations – voice their concerns. If you are in our industry and provide products to the federal government it will become critical that everyone involved review the new regulations and guidance from the federal sector and provide your input accordingly.
Be aware, get involved, and provide input.
The days of government waivers appear to be over, but you just never know.
About the Author: Ken Tyler, industry veteran, retired as VP Government Operations at Encompass and currently consults on Government Sales Programs with Standard Textiles. Tyler managed the entire textile and laundry operations for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for 23 years. Prior to that, he was the director of textile and uniform operations for the Department of the Navy, US Marine Corps where he was responsible for all fleet and base laundry operations. He retired from the VA in 2000, ending 35 years of government service. Tyler planned and managed the design and construction of 57 VA laundries and he established quality standards for laundry systems and textile inspections.