Bipartisan Senate Bill Aims to Help Close Buy American Loopholes

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

A bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation this week to make sure waivers to Buy American laws are not overused.

Buy American gives preference to American-made goods during the federal government procurement process. For example, if the construction of a bridge is being funded by federal tax dollars, Buy American ensures it is built with American-made iron and steel.

These preferences are popular among the public and enjoy widespread bipartisan support, and for good reason. It makes sense to reinvest our tax dollars in the local economy; it makes no sense to send that money overseas when American workers are ready to do the same job at a competitive price.

Sometimes there are instances when a federal agency can use a waiver to buy goods from overseas, such as when an American-made product is unavailable or if there is a significant cost difference. Unfortunately, however, federal agencies often overuse waivers, and there’s currently no centralized system to track what’s going down.

As a result, federal agencies spent $47.7 billion on foreign-made goods over the past five years, according to the Senators introducing the bill. The Defense Department alone has spent $200 billion on foreign-made products since 2007.

That’s what the Act aims to address. The legislation would create a centralized, publicly available website to track and display any requested waivers to Buy American laws. In doing so, this would allow U.S. manufacturers and others to identify available federal contract opportunities — and hold accountable those agencies and officials who are abusing the waiver system.

Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy (Conn.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) are sponsoring the legislation alongside Republican Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.). Murphy originally suggested the idea of the website to President Trump in a letter he sent last year that outlined ways to close Buy American loopholes.

The new bill also codifies Trump’s executive order on Buy American and requires federal agencies to report on the implementation (and compliance with) Buy American preferences.

Here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing, we think the proposed website is a great idea. Buy American preferences go a long way in supporting American jobs and the local economy, and we should always look for ways to make sure that these laws are being properly implemented and not abused.


Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

He Gets the Bucks, We Get All the Deadly Bangs

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre has had better weeks. First came the horrific early August slaughters in California, Texas, and Ohio that left dozens dead, murders that elevated public pressure on the NRA’s hardline against even the mildest of moves against gun violence. Then came revelations that LaPierre — whose labors on behalf of the nonprofit NRA have made him a millionaire many times over — last year planned to have his gun lobby group bankroll a 10,000-square-foot luxury manse near Dallas for his personal use. In response, LaPierre had his flacks charge that the NRA’s former ad agency had done the scheming to buy the mansion. The ad agency called that assertion “patently false” and related that LaPierre had sought the agency’s involvement in the scheme, a request the agency rejected. The mansion scandal, notes the Washington Post, comes as the NRA is already “contending with the fallout from allegations of lavish spending by top executives.”


More ...

Corruption Coordinates

Corruption Coordinates