Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Supplier Scouting

The U.S. faces supply chain challenges that impact our nation’s security and economic health as well as our well-being and safety. Extensive offshoring and outsourcing have resulted in U.S. manufacturing falling behind. Small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) are especially challenged with sustaining operations in light of current supply chain conditions. There is a widespread need to find domestic manufacturing suppliers to meet current needs.

Submit a Supplier Scouting Opportunity Synopsis form or contact your local MEP Center to begin searching for domestic suppliers.

The MEP National Network’s (MEPNN) supplier scouting service can be applied on a national, regional, or local scale. By leveraging our extensive relationships and knowledge of U.S. manufacturing capabilities, we identify U.S. manufacturers with specific production and technical capabilities and connect them to new customers in the supply chains of larger companies and government agencies. Additionally, we identify and connect domestic suppliers with purchasers, responding to the specific needs of agencies to meet Build America, Buy America requirements.

To learn more about MEP’s role in developing domestic supply chains, visit our webpage – Executive Order on Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers.

U.S. manufacturers have the capabilities and capacities to produce any item needed by our nation’s supply chains. The MEPNN’s supplier scouting service provides a viable means by which domestic manufacturing suppliers can be catalyzed to produce needed items domestically.

mep supplier scouting process chart

MEP National Network Supplier Scouting Process

The MEPNN Supplier Scouting process is straight-forward and easy for the requesting company or federal government agency. Below are the basic steps:

  • Government agencies with supply chain needs can use the MEPNN Supplier Scouting service by completing a Supplier Scouting Opportunity Synopsis form. Companies with supply chain needs should contact their local MEP Center.
  • NIST MEP disseminates the information to MEP Centers in every state and Puerto Rico to conduct a nationwide search for U.S. manufacturers with the capabilities and business interests to supply the needed item.
  • The results are summarized by NIST MEP and reported to the organization that submitted the request. MEPNN Supplier Scouting typically takes 30-45 days to return results.

Submit a Supplier Scouting Opportunity Synopsis form or contact your local MEP Center to begin searching for domestic suppliers.

View current open opportunities.

For more information on supplier scouting, please contact NIST MEP's Supplier Scouting team at scouting [at] (scouting[at]nist[dot]gov) or 301-975-5020.

Made In America Guidance

Made in America Laws include two main domestic content preference types for goods: Buy American Act requirements for government procurement and Buy America requirements for Federal financial assistance. These domestic preferences have similar sounding names but are different in important ways.

Build America, Buy America Act

The Build America, Buy America Act (BABA), enacted as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on November 15, 2021, established a domestic content procurement preference for all Federal financial assistance obligated for infrastructure projects after May 14, 2022. BABA requirements only apply to iron, steel, and manufactured goods brought to a construction site for incorporation into a public building or public work. See the Made in America Office Build America, Buy America Fact Sheet.

Buy American Act

The Buy American Act (BAA) (41 U.S.C. §§ 8301–8305) is the primary law addressing domestic content preferences in Federal procurement. It provides a preference for the purchase of domestic supplies (or domestic end products) and domestic construction materials. Guidelines for implementing regulations for the BAA are available in the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

Buy America Requirements

“Buy America” is the phrase used to describe domestic preferences generally applied to awards made with Federal financial assistance. There is no single “Buy America” statute.  Rather, there are several statutes that require certain Federal agencies to apply domestic content procurement preferences for goods, products, and materials made in the U.S. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), enacted on November 15, 2021, includes the Build America, Buy America (BABA) Act, which expands Buy America requirements government-wide to Federal financial assistance programs for infrastructure.

How can product compliance with Made in America requirements be demonstrated?

Submitting a certification of compliance with Buy America requirements is the most effective method for ensuring products are Buy America compliant. Companies can provide proper documentation that demonstrate compliance with the law. Visit 49 CFR part 661.6 for guidance.

If you have any questions on supplier scouting or Made in America guidance, please submit a question in the form below.

Required* Indicates required field
NIST will include and share your contact information in our information systems to enable us to manage interactions and relationships with you, our customer, and review how NIST provides products, services, and support.  We do this by aggregating customer data from a number of authorized NIST systems.  Your information will not be shared with information systems that are not authorized by NIST.


For General Information

  • MEP Headquarters
    (301) 975-5020
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800
Created March 23, 2020, Updated April 12, 2024