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In an exit interview with last year, Bates said he had worked on new legislation that will make the office stronger for more comprehensive IT governance statewide as well as an IT inventory analysis that will allow the state to streamline procurement.President Trump signed a new executive order Tuesday that’s supposed to make it harder for federal contractors to use cheaper imported products — especially steel — when building roads and bridges with public money.The United States currently has such agreements with more than 50 countries, as part of NAFTA and other trade deals.Trump’s executive order will instruct federal agencies to review those waivers. If Trump wants to revoke the special status granted to these countries, then the United States needs to get out of the trade agreements.That will be a major headache for the administration, as it would require renegotiating more than a dozen trade deals.
The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 says the president can waive these rules for materials imported from countries that also waive their restrictions on American imports.
He’d also review waivers that allow products to count as American-made if they’re from countries the US has trade agreements with.
The result will be to make infrastructure projects much more expensive, because that work relies heavily on steel beams and rods, says Dan Ikenson, a trade economist at the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC.
Steel companies have long blamed cheap imports from China, for example, for thousands of layoffs at American steel mills.
Trump, in turn, has vowed to slap more tariffs on cheap steel imports.
That federated structure is blamed for what is described in a press release as “inconsistencies or redundancies,” which “hampered” efficient delivery of information technology services throughout the state.