Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA-14) joined Representative Dan Lipinski (D-IL-3) and a number of other Members of Congress in introducing the Buy American Improvement Act (HR 904) to create American jobs, promote US manufacturing industries, increase transparency and accountability in government procurement, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent in the USA whenever practicable.
“I’m proud to cosponsor this bill to preserve America’s manufacturing base and the jobs of the men and women who work in our factories,” Congressman Doyle said after the bill’s introduction. “Foreign governments have been illegally subsidizing their steel and manufacturing industries and then illegally dumping their second-rate goods on our markets. The bipartisan steel caucus has been fighting this practice for years. We’ve urged stronger enforcement of our trade laws, and argued many specific cases before the WTO. This bill represents another way forward for an industry that has been under ceaseless attack from unfair, illegal actions by foreign governments.”
“Despite the fact that too many Americans still can’t find good jobs, the federal government continues to buy many products outside our country instead of using our hard-earned tax dollars to buy American products and hire American workers,” said Rep. Lipinski. “The Buy American Improvement Act will change that.”
The Buy American Improvement Act would apply ‘Buy American’ requirements to federal procurement spending that isn’t covered by current law and would close loopholes in programs where ‘Buy American’ requirements are already law. The bill also sets domestic content standards for indirect purchases by U.S. Department of Transportation grantees, ensuring that tax dollars spent on aviation, highway, transit, and rail infrastructure will support U.S. manufacturing and mining jobs, rather than jobs in other countries. In addition, while “Buy America” has traditionally applied only to transportation projects, the Buy American Improvement Act would expand these requirements to a number of other federal grant programs.
This legislation would help American companies and workers by requiring federal agencies to publicly disclose “Buy American” waivers in the Federal Register and to explain their justification for the waiver. It would also create a consolidated annual report that lists the total amount and dollar value of all foreign purchases and the number of waivers granted. This additional transparency would allow American companies to see where there are opportunities to sell to the federal government and put more Americans to work. Finally, it would make the Buy America provision for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund permanent. Congressman Doyle worked with Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC-3) to include a similar provision in last year’s Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, but Republican leadership blocked it.
Organizations endorsing the bill include the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, BlueGreen Alliance, Alliance for American Manufacturing, Coalition for a Prosperous America, International Association of Machines and Aerospace Workers, Lake Carriers’ Association, Steel Manufacturers Association, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and United Steelworkers.