ANNOUNCEMENT 09 Mar 2011In March 2011, the government of the United States of America announced a change in the local input requirements for the participation in certain public purchases.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
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A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 9, 2011 would prohibit, subject to certain exemptions, the Smithsonian Institution (the principal museum facility of the Federal government) from either using non-U.S. materials in construction projects or selling any items in its gift shops that are not made in the United States.
Whether or not the "Buy American at the Smithsonian Act of 2011" (H.R.983) is enacted into law, it has already pressured the administrators of one Smithsonian gift shop to discontinue purchase of goods not made in the United States. According to an article published in the Washington Post, the introduction of this bill, coupled with the threatened loss of Federal funding for the Smithsonian, led officials there to adopt a Buy-American policy similar to one already in place at other facilities such as the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center and the concessionaires of the National Park Service.
In a press release issued on the same day that H.R.983 was introduced, the Smithsonian announced that the "museum store at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will offer only merchandise made in the United States beginning in early July." The release further stated that --
The Smithsonian's retail operation is managed by Smithsonian Enterprises, which has a long-standing policy of buying American-made products whenever possible. Smithsonian buyers only attend American trade shows and contract primarily with U.S.-based companies. These companies often manufacture their products both domestically and internationally.
While the Smithsonian makes an effort to buy American products whenever possible, some of the items most popular with our visitors are exclusively manufactured overseas. Smithsonian Enterprises will seek more American suppliers for all Smithsonian stores, especially those with significant American themes such as at the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.