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President Biden’s Executive Orders Impacts the Construction Community

Since his inauguration on January 20, 2021, President Biden has issued the following executive orders, which will impact the construction community:

Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis 

  • On January 20, 2021, President Biden directed the heads of all federal agencies to immediately review agency actions taken between January 2017 and January 2020 related to the environment and public health.

OSHA Procedures on Workplace Safety

  • On January 21, 2021, President Biden directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the Department of Labor to look at employer responsibility to protect workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This order requires OSHA to issue revised employer guidance within two weeks and to consider whether any emergency temporary standards (ETS) mandating workplace requirements, such as masks or dividers, are necessary.
  • If an ETS is found necessary, it must be issued no later than March 15th.

“Made-in-America” Provisions  

On January 26, 2021 signed Executive Order related to Made-in-America.

  • The President created a new executive branch position – a Director of Made-in-America – under the Office of Management and Budget to implement the Executive Order. Agencies are directed to tighten loopholes and OMB is instructed to review and scrutinize waiver requests to only be used in very limited circumstances “this hasn’t happened before, it will happen now.”
  • President Biden signaled major investments to modernize infrastructure “to rebuild our roads, our bridges, our ports, to make them more climate resilient as well as make them able to move faster, cheaper and cleaner to transport American-made goods across the country and around the world, making us more competitive.”
  • He also signaled “historic investments” in R&D for battery technology, artificial intelligence, biotech, and clean energy to “sharpen America’s innovative edge.”

President Biden also indicated a commitment to work with our trading partners to modernize trade rules including those related to government procurement. President Biden added, “To make sure we can all use our taxpayer dollars to spur investment that promotes growth and resilient supply chains.”

President Biden’s E.O. also addresses including more communities “historically left out” of government procurement. “We will use … the Manufacturing Extension Partnership … to help government agencies connect with new domestic suppliers across the country.”