Buy American to Support U.S. Manufacturing!
6. March 2013
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has expressed strong support for legislation introduced by Rep. Nick J. Rahall, II (D-WV), the Ranking Member on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to strengthen Buy America preferences, close loopholes, and improve transparency in the federal waiver process.
At a recent Capitol Hill press conference, AAM President Scott Paul praised the ‘Invest in American Jobs Act of 2013’ for its emphasis on universal coverage for Buy America preferences. He says, “Our Buy America laws ensure that hard-earned tax dollars support good, quality jobs right here at home. But loopholes and exemptions have weakened these laws over time, allowing more of the public’s money to be sent overseas to purchase steel and manufactured goods from countries like China.”
The problem, continues, is that U.S. tax dollars currently spent on some infrastructure projects, namely those financed with railroad loans, Clean Water grants, and some FEMA grants, are not subject to Buy America preferences. As a result, companies like U.S. Foundry & Eagle Manufacturing Group (Florida), East Jordan Iron Works (Michigan and Oklahoma), Charlotte Pipe & Foundry Company (North Carolina), Spring City Electrical Manufacturing (Pennsylvania), Neenah Foundry Company (Wisconsin), Deeter Foundry (Nebraska), EBAA Iron (Texas), and D&L Foundry (Washington) pay taxes and comply with federal standards for clean air, clean water, and plant safety while simultaneously competing with subsidized imports from China and India that do not bear similar costs.
AAM believes that the Buy America waiver process needs greater transparency. The ‘Invest In American Jobs Act of 2013’ could provide much-needed accountability by giving American workers and companies a chance to comment on any waivers proposed by Federal agencies, Paul adds.