Biden looks to curb COVID-19 economic damage with "Buy American" plan

Mr. Biden is expected to lay out a plan that calls for aggressively ramping up “Buy American” provisions covering U.S. government spending that, under his platform, would account for a larger part of the U.S. economy. The “Buy American” initiative would require that some portion of federal funds be set aside for domestic producers. Such provisions can be a source of international commercial tension, frequently prompting complaints from other countries that they run afoul of global trade rules designed to ensure fair access to markets for companies from all over the world.

The Biden speech, a campaign adviser said, will serve notice to American trading partners that, even if Mr. Trump loses in November, allies shouldn’t expect Washington to return to the embrace of economic globalization that had defined the policies of the Obama-Biden administration and two decades of Republican and Democratic presidents who preceded it.

A senior Biden campaign adviser said Wednesday that, in implementing any such policies, the vice president “will not be ignoring World Trade Organization rules.” But he said that those rules are outdated and added that Germany and France—two countries that have tried to defend the global trading system against Mr. Trump’s criticisms—were themselves similarly rushing to curb dependence on imports for critical medical supplies.

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